Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Diabetes

An illustration of the nanoscale interferometers on a biochip able to detect glucose in ar...

Two years ago, we first heard about how scientists at Rhode Island's Brown University were developing a biochip for detecting very low concentrations of glucose in saliva. Such a device could make life much easier for diabetics, as it would save them from having to perform fingerprick blood tests. At the time, it was limited to detecting glucose in water. Now, however, it's able to do so within a mixture of water, salts and select enzymes – also known as artificial saliva.  Read More

The bionic pancreas' two pumps, sensor, and app-packing iPhone 4s

This February, we first heard about a "bionic pancreas" that could radically improve the lives of type 1 diabetics. At the time, multi-day trials involving groups of adult and adolescent patients were still yet to occur. Those trials have now taken place, and the results are definitely encouraging.  Read More

Scientists at Boston University are trialling a bionic pancreas

For people living with type 1 diabetes, a constant process of monitoring and adjusting blood sugar levels is required. A change may be on the horizon, though. A bionic pancreas trialled among 30 adults has been very well-received by the participants, and has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for three transitional outpatient studies over the next 18 months.  Read More

Replenishing the insulin-secreting beta cells found in the pancreas could lead to a more p...

Type 1 diabetics suffer from a lack of beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for insulin production. Although glucose monitoring and insulin injections allows the disease to be managed, finding a way to replenish these beta cells would offer a more permanent solution. Scientists at Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco have provided hope for just such a treatment by developing a technique to reprogram skin cells into insulin-producing beta cells.  Read More

Google's prototype blood sugar-monitoring contact lens uses a wireless chip and miniaturiz...

While we have seen the technology behind glucose-monitoring contact lenses develop over the least few years, getting them out of the lab and onto the eyes of diabetes sufferers has been a different story. With Google announcing its testing of a smart contact lens designed to measure glucose levels in tears, the search giant is looking to provide more effective management of the disease.  Read More

By restoring communication between a cell’s mitochondria (shown here from a mammalian lung...

With the wide-ranging benefits of reducing disease and enabling a longer, healthier life, reversing the causes of aging is a major focus of much medical research. A joint project between the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia and Harvard Medical School that restored communication within animal cells has the potential to do just that, and maybe more. With the researchers hoping to begin human clinical trials in 2014, some major medical breakthroughs could be just around the corner.  Read More

Orally-ingested insulin layersomes could eventually replace injections  (Photo: Shuttersto...

Help could be on the way for the hundreds of millions of diabetics who are tired of giving themselves daily insulin injections. Scientists from India's National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research have recently had success in orally delivering insulin to rats' bloodstreams.  Read More

Drugs called 'pharmacoperones' can fix the problems that occur when proteins 'misfold'

Proteins adopt their functional three-dimensional structure by the folding of a linear chain of amino acids. Gene mutation can cause this folding process to go awry, resulting in "misfolded" proteins that are inactive or, in worse cases, exhibit modified or toxic functionality. This is the cause of a wide range of diseases, but researchers have developed a technique that fixes these misfolded proteins, allowing them to perform their intended function, thereby providing a potential cure for a number of diseases.  Read More

Focused waves of ultrasound have been used to release insulin from reservoirs in the skin

There could be hope for diabetics who are tired of giving themselves insulin injections on a daily basis. Researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are developing a system in which a single injection of nanoparticles could deliver insulin internally for days at a time – with a little help from pulses of ultrasound.  Read More

Students of the Biodesign program design MetaboShield to fight obesity and reverse type 2 ...

MetaboShield, is an innovative intestinal sleeve that can be lodged permanently in the small intestine via the throat in an anesthesia-free procedure. Though it is still a prototype, when developed the sleeve could help people shed unwanted pounds and potentially help reverse type 2 diabetes.  Read More

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