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Seventy-five years ago the type of diabetes that affected children and young adults was lethal In the 1990s investigators found that a hormone that was produced in Islets of Langerhans was not being produced in diabetes patients This hormone called insulin enables other cells to take up sugar glucose from the blood for energy Diabetes patients who were not making insulin had glucose from food accumulating in the blood while other tissues were starving Their are two types of diabetes Type 1 diabetes has ceased completely from making insulin and the people who had this kind usually died Type 2 diabetes still makes a little insulin so suffers of this type usually lived In the 1920s prospects for people who suffered from type 1 diabetes increased when it was learned that insulin extracted from animals and placed in humans could prevent death Unfortunately this is not a cure Patients can get potentially fatal diabetes-related disorders These include blindness and or kidney failure Atherososclerosis numbness and pain in extremities caused by narrowed vessicles may also be a problem These effects are caused because insulin injections cant perfectly mimic naturally made insulin Thats why a therapy that maintains glucose values within normal from the begging is needed An ideal treatment would be the implantation of islets This in theory would only have to be done once and would insure proper insulin production Successful grafts would also prevent diabete-related ills At Paul E Lacys lab experiments have been done for twenty- five years on such a process At first they were just trying to understand the mechanics of hormone secretion To start this they needed a way to separate islet clusters from the pancreas These constitute only 2 of the entire pancreas though and are scattered throughout it In 1967 they found a solution and took the islets from rats These islets were transplanted in inbred rats to see
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