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Re: [IP] Re: Diabetes Update tonight on ABC

email @ redacted wrote:
> Did any one else watch the ABC update?
> Can any one else explain what the advance is? I'm totally lost
> here..
> Barca-Tinus Family wrote:
> >
> > The new research seems to be an implant in the abdomen area that "filters
> > like a tea bag but is tough as steel", supplying the insulin to lock up and
> > provide our energy. I think. They also said it wouldn't be available until
> > a few years. .........and why do they always show the worst effects this
> > disease has on people..kidneys, neuropathy, retinal bleeding.
> > Is this what they think we have to look forward to?
> > 32 and somewhat depressed. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's micro-encapsulated Beta cells. They surround a few cells with a capsule
made of a semi-permeable membrane, either using plastic or a seaweed derivative.
The capsule keeps the bodies white cells from attacking and destroying the 
"foreign" (that is , not your own) Beta cells, but glucose can get in to
feed the cells and insulin can get out. 

The Beta cells can be derived from animals, human donors aren't thought
to be necessary. There is a big project to raise pigs especially to supply
the Beta cells.

All very fine, but they didn't mention a few things. The Beta cells are
fine as long as they last, but when they die (as all types of cells do
eventually) there is nowhere for replacement cells to grow in the capsules, 
so you need to get them replaced eventually. The only thing even vaguely 
related to that in the report was when they said: Steven, one of several 
people who have had the treatment, didn't need insulin injections just
after the surgery, but now takes a small daily dose of insulin. 

The dose will grow slowly until they replenish the now dead cells with 
another batch........ Sounds like a problem to me. First they need enough
harvested cells to give him the first batch, then they need to get further
batches every so often (each year or 2?) to replace some. Sounds like a
long way between insulin shots, sort of. Of course the life would be 
easier when the Beta cells produce enough to live freely, but degradation 
seems like a risky variable hard to predict or control.

Think I'll wait for genetic research to do it right!

Ted Quick