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[IP] hey lookie here

Hi kids...this is sara checking in from vacation...dont know if y'all saw 
this today but thought it would be of interest!!!

PS - I met Jessica and Anita in Houston - COOL!!!!!  and gonna meet Sandra in 
Lake Charles...I love IP

Gene Found That May Cause Diabetes
.c The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Researchers have taken a critical step toward a vaccine to 
prevent childhood diabetes by isolating in mice a gene that causes the body 
to attack and kill tissue that produces insulin.

(CHILDHOOD???why not call it TYPE I???  that IS the correct term for it, is 
it not)

Using a strain of rodent, called the nonobese diabetic mouse, that always 
gets diabetes, a team led by Dr. Ji-Won Yoon showed that the presence of the 
gene GAD is what causes the body's immune system to kill the 
insulin-producing cells.  Yoon, of the University of Calgary in Alberta, 
Canada, is lead author of a study appearing Friday in the journal Science.

``We found that if we suppress GAD expression in the pancreatic cells, then 
we can prevent diabetes,'' said Yoon. ``It is that simple.''


In the mouse, when the GAD gene is active, it expresses, or causes the cell 
to make, a protein called glutamic acid decarboxylase. When this GAD protein 
is circulating in the body, the immune system detects it and attacks as if it 
were a foreign substance. Killer T-cells from the immune system also attack 
the beta cells that have the GAD gene.   This attack kills the beta cells, 
which means the body no longer has the insulin needed to process glucose, or 
sugar, in the blood. The result is Type I diabetes.  (THANK YOU...)

Dr. Robert Goldstein, medical director of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, 
said Yoon's discovery ``is very important step'' toward, perhaps, someday 
developing a diabetes vaccine.

``This approach has the promise of modulating the autoimmune response and 
going toward prevention,'' said Goldstein. He cautioned, however, that the 
finding is ``only one brick in the house'' and that scientists will need to 
answer many basic questions before a vaccine can be developed.

Type I diabetes frequently is diagnosed in childhood, forcing patients to 
spend their lives taking up to four insulin shots a day and to monitor 
carefully their blood sugar levels.   About 29,000 new cases of Type I 
diabetes are diagnosed annually in the United States, mostly among children 
and young adults. The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation estimates that about one 
million Americans now are being treated for Type I diabetes.

Another form of the disease, called Type II diabetes, most commonly occurs in 
people over 40. In this disease, the body may still make insulin, but cells 
have lost their sensitivity to the hormone. Type II diabetes commonly is 
treated successfully with pills, diet and life style changes.

(Well this is good - at least they are differentiating between the two - 
never seen an article like this that calls out the two "species")

When not controlled, either type of diabetes can cause kidney failure, 
blindness, limb amputation, heart disease and death. It is estimated that 
diabetes claims the lives of about 190,000 Americans annually.  

Yoon said his study suggests that it may be possible to prevent Type I 
diabetes with a vaccine that would desensitize the immune system to the 
presence of the GAD gene. He said such a vaccine would, in effect, educate 
the immune system to not attack pancreatic cells that have the GAD gene.

``If you inject GAD then the T-cell will learn to tolerate GAD and will not 
attack the beta cells (which make insulin),'' said Yoon. ``The concept is 
that you inject GAD into young children then they would not get diabetes. 
That is prevention.''

Yoon said that it will take 10 to 15 years to develop such a vaccine because 
researchers would have to prove that manipulating the GAD gene would not 
cause dangerous side effects. He said the gene has no known function in the 
pancreas, but it is present in the brain..
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