Diabetes: 3 Exciting Recent Discoveries

(DGIwire) – According to the World Health Organization, diabetes affects more than 420 million people worldwide. For those who are concerned about this condition, it is natural to wonder what kinds of discoveries are being made today that could potentially lead to better care. Here are three exciting advances from the frontiers of diabetes research worth paying attention to.

  • A signature for insulin sensitivity in muscle: Researchers at the University of Stirling in the UK have discovered a new genomic signature in people whose Type 2 diabetes status improves following a treatment intervention. As reported in Nucleic Acids Research, this might be the first reliable signature for insulin sensitivity in human muscle.
  • New link between physical inactivity and diabetes: As reported in Medical News Today, research conducted at McMaster University in Canada suggests that among elderly adults with prediabetes, two weeks of physical inactivity can hasten the onset of metabolic effects that have the potential to lead to full-blown diabetes.
  • A blind fish’s link to diabetes: Researchers have found that the Mexican cavefish has evolved a novel variant of the insulin receptor that makes it harder for this hormone to bind. According to a study published in Nature, learning more about how this works could provide more information on how diabetes evolved in people and perhaps point the way to novel therapies.

“Innovation in diabetes treatment begins on the frontiers of research, and it’s exciting to follow the advances that are being made in this area today,” says Jeff Duchemin, President and CEO of Harvard Bioscience, a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of solutions to advance life science. “One of the key components enabling frontline research is new instrumentation.”

Multi Channel Systems (MCS), a subsidiary of Harvard Bioscience, recently launched its Beta- Screen-System to help researchers study insulin-producing beta cells. This product utilizes the multielectrode array (MEA) technology that is at the core of MCS products to collect information about the electrical activity of cells.

Since beta cell electrical activity is affected by changing amounts of glucose, the Beta-Screen-System can help diabetes researchers in two ways. First, to model the behavior of beta cells in a laboratory setting to test the effectiveness of new treatment methods. Second, to gain a better understanding of the changes in pathology to beta cells during the progression of diabetes. In both examples, the Beta-Screen-System offers researchers a new, faster and less-invasive method of looking at beta cell activity.

Holliston, MA-based Harvard Bioscience offers the highest-quality tools and equipment for university, government, clinical and other research laboratories. Its product range is extensive, from molecular analysis instruments to electrophysiology tools. The company’s subsidiaries offer a complete line of instrumentation in multiple sectors including laboratory fluidics, molecular analysis, cell physiology and animal physiology.

“The future of diabetes breakthroughs could very easily depend on advances in instrumentation taking place today,” Duchemin adds.

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