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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Windfall for Diabetes Research
10 September 1998 6:00 pm
A private foundation has donated nearly $20 million to Harvard Medical School to fund research that they hope will lead to a cure for juvenile diabetes. The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International (JDF) and Harvard announced today the creation of a center dedicated to finding an effective way to replace the insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas that the body's own immune system destroys in the debilitating disease, which afflicts an estimated 700,000 people in the United States.
Researchers have had some success in transplanting islet cells, but recipients require heavy doses of immune suppression. This doesn't work in children, says Harvard immunologist Laurie Glimcher, who helped spark the idea for the center and will be an associate director. The JDF Center for Islet Cell Transplantation will fund 32 researchers to focus on four main goals: Reversing the overactive immune response that kills islet cells; finding new sources for islet cell transplants, such as pigs or genetically engineered cells; persuading the body to accept the transplanted cells without immunosuppressive drugs that often trigger worse side effects than the disease; and overcoming the technical difficulties of transplantation.
The new center is "definitely a good initiative," says Camillo Ricordi, scientific director of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami in Florida. "It will bring more investigators to our field," he says. Glimcher says the center should have animal trials of transplants without immunosuppression underway within a year, with hopes for human trials in 3 years.