This is an “OUT THERE” blog of some of the more fascinating research. Enjoy!

Long-term Improvement in Glucose Control and Counterregulation in T1 by Islet Transplantation was reported in the August issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 29 August 2016.

The bottom line:

In patients with T1D experiencing problematic hypoglycemia, intrahepatic islet transplantation can lead to long-term improvement of glucose counterregulation and hypoglycemia symptom recognition, physiological effects that likely contribute to glycemic stability after transplant.

This study demonstrates near-normal glycemic control and improvement in glucose counterregulation in 10 patients with type 1 diabetes during 24 months following intrahepatic islet transplantation.

Read more: Long-Term Improvement in Glucose Control by Islet Transplantation for Type 1 Diabetes


Development of T1 is Linked to Arsenic Metabolism, as published in Diabetes Care, November 2016. The study, conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, examined the correlation of arsenic with T1 and T2 diabetes.  It’s complicated but just in case this piques your interest.

Read more: Association of Arsenic Exposure and Metabolism With T1 and T2 Diabetes in Youth


Nanoparticles May Be Used to Treat T1, as reported by Katie Bacon on, November 2016.  Apparently there are several immune therapies being developed to treat autoimmune diseases, by slowing the process or stopped the body’s attack. Research is being funded by JDRF to explore these approaches.

antolrxIn particular, a project by Dr. Francisco Quintana, who runs a lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, focuses on developing nanoparticles that would address the autoimmune attack on islet cells that characterize T1.  In a joint effort with Dr. Quintana, Pfizer and a venture capital firm, a new biotech start-up, called AnTolRx is working on bringing targeted nanoparticle tolerance therapeutics (TNTT) to market to treat T1 and other autoimmune diseases.

Read more: Nanoparticles May Be Used to Treat Type 1 Diabetes

          , Nanoparticle-Based Therapies


Platypus Venom Paves the Way to Possible Diabetes Treatment, reported researchers at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University in Australia, now published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

This is an eye-catcher!

platypusThe males of the extraordinary semi-aquatic mammal – one of the only kind to lay eggs – have venomous spurs on the heels of their hind feet. The poison is used to ward off adversaries.  But scientists at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University have discovered it contains a hormone that could help treat diabetes. Known as GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), it is also found in humans and other animals, where it promotes insulin release, lowering blood glucose levels. But it normally degrades very quickly.

Not for the duck-billed bottom feeders though. Or for echidnas, also known as spiny anteaters – another iconic Australian species found to carry the unusual hormone. Both produce a long-lasting form of it, offering the tantalizing prospect of creating something similar for human diabetes sufferers.

According to lead researcher Prof Frank Grutzer, “We knew from genome analysis that there was something weird about the platypus’s metabolic control system because they basically lack a functional stomach.”

They are not the only animals to use insulin against enemies. The gila monster, a venomous lizard native to the US and Mexico, and the geographer cone, a dangerous sea snail which can kill entire schools of fish by releasing insulin into the sea, both also weaponize the chemical.

Read more: Platypus Venom Paves Way to Possible Diabetes Treatment


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