Diabetes is a dreadful disease and it behaves as a steady killer. Its treatment can be strenuous, but scientists just found a new way that will make the process a lot easier. They use a technique in which stem cells are cloned and the cloned stem cells are made perfectly matched with the patient’s DNA in order to treat the disease.
The researchers use this technique to make insulin-producing cells with the DNA of a diabetic patient. For the research, they used skin cells of a 32-year old diabetic woman with Type 1 diabetes to generate stem cells that exactly match with her DNA.
People with Type 1 diabetes use shots or a small pump to supply the hormone, which is needed to control blood sugar.
Dieter Egli of the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute says the technique is a step towards providing genetically match replacement cells for transplant.
Scientists all over the world are working on methods to counter different type of diseases, of which diabetes is one of them. One method to counter diabetes, which stands out of the rests is that of a technique that partially resembles the process used to clone animals. In this, scientists put DNA from the woman’s skin cells into donated human eggs and the eggs were grown into early embryos. Scientists then removed stem cells, which are capable of growing into any cell type in the body.
These stem cells are then turned into the insulin-producing cells. Egli reported that these cells have responded positively when tested on animal, though it is too early to jump to any conclusion for human experiments.
This method of cloning to counter diabetes is the first of its kind in the whole endeavour put forward to counter different diseases using cloning technique, as this is the first cloning technique used to create insulin-making cells. Not long ago, there was a report that the goal of creating stem cells perfectly matched to a patient’s DNA is close to realisation. It was announced in a reputed journal that the first time researchers have achieved ‘therapeutic cloning’ of adults.
Technically called somatic-cell nuclear transfer, therapeutic cloning means producing embryonic cells genetically identical to a donor for the sole purpose to treat disease. It was also reported that patient-specific stem cells would have to be created from older cells, not infant or fetal ones.
If this technique of treating disease is confirmed by other research laboratories and approved by the government and mass alike, it will be an unprecedented milestone in the history of medical science. The technique can therefore be applied in so many different ways to counter different diseases, especially diseases affecting the elderly’s activities of daily living.