This year could spell the beginning of the end for diabetes.

Affecting more than 400 million worldwide, researchers are closer than ever to producing game-changing treatments and cures for those living with diabetes.

Recent research undertaken at the University of Copenhagen, and published in Nature Cell Biology, shows that human cells can be used to ‘produce insulin-producing cells’ – which ‘in the future could be transplanted into diabetes patients’.

“By identifying the signals that instruct mouse progenitor cells to become cells that make tubes and later insulin-producing beta cells, we can transfer this knowledge to human stem cells to more robustly make beta cells,” explained Professor Henrik Semb, from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

 

There have been a number of key developments in 2017 in the fight against diabetes.

new partnership between IBM and JDRF is trying to use artificial intelligence to deliver a ‘world without type 1 diabetes’. And a team at the University of Texas has developed wearable biosensors that can monitor diabetes from minuscule amounts of sweat. While Belgian biotech Imcyse is working with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Paris to test a vaccine – in human trials – that could provide a major breakthrough in the fight against Type 1 diabetes. The results of the trials are expected late next year. Even broccoli is joining the fight.