Stem Cell Research & Diabetes

Can stem cell research benefit diabetes patients?

  • Stem cell have the potential to turn into insulin-producing cells and other type of tissues. These cells may one day be used to replace insulin injection and to repair tissues in body organs damaged by diabetes.
  • Some of the most significant stem cell research currently being conducted is reverse engineering of cells, turning skin cells back to stem cells and then using these stem cells to repair tissue in damaged body parts, including the islet cells (insulin producing) in the pancreas.
  • Dr. Wang and his team just completed the first comprehensive gene traffic map in human embryonic stem cells; this will help future stem cell researchers to harness the process of tissue engineering.
  • One of the major problems in producing stem cells is significant difficulty in controlling them for utilization.
FINAL CAPTION: An image of a preneuron derived from human embryonic stem cells in the UC Irvine Stem Cell Core Facility. According to Dr. Wang
“Our scientists are deciphering the basic mechanisms of controlling stem cells. Understanding how these mechanisms work will allow us to harness stem cells and use them to repair damaged tissue.”

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