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Re: [IPp] Goldfish + Insulin = Not Pretty



Speaking of a "fishy" cure.  This is something I read of JDRF the other day: 
 

http://kids.jdrf.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewPage&page_id=E7A05AE4-2A5E-7B6E-1346CB99B60958DC
 ou had much in common with salamanders, worms, or starfishbut guess
Salamanders, like many other organisms, have an amazing ability to grow
replacement body parts when they lose or damage the originals. For example,
when a salamander loses a leg, it can grow a whole new onemuscles, bones, and
allin just a few weeks. This process is called regeneration
(re-JEN-er-AY-shun). Now, we all know that humans cant do THATso what exactly
do we have in common with salamanders?

 Well, in the last few years, scientists have discovered that humans actually
have the same raw materials in their bodies that salamanders use to grow new
parts. No one knows yet why humans and other mammals dont regenerate new body
parts like salamanders do, but scientists are trying to find out.

 Are you wondering what all this has to do with diabetes? OK, here goes In type
1 diabetes, a persons own immune system, which is supposed to protect against
sickness and disease, attacks the islet (EYE-let) cells in the pancreas by
mistake. The islets get weaker and weaker until they finally stop making
insulin. Without insulin you get very sick, so you need to take insulin
injections every day or wear an insulin pump. But, if scientists can get your
pancreas to act kind of like a salamanderin other words, make new islet cells
to replace the old, dead onesthey might be able to cure diabetes!

 Sounds great, but weve still got a lot of work to do before it can happen.
First, scientists have to find out more about how regeneration works in species
like salamanders and flatworms

 Understanding Regeneration Scientists are just beginning to figure out which
genes and proteins are involved in regeneration and how they know what to do.
There seem to be two main ways that living things regenerate.

 In one type of regeneration, like in flatworms, an organism has extra cells
called stem cells in its body at all times, no matter how old it gets. These
stem cells are very usefulthey can turn into any other type of cell whenever
they need to. So lets say, for example, a flatworm gets cut in half. Right
away, the cells near the cut send a message to the stem cells, calling for help.
The stem cells then come to the rescue, replacing all the cells that are missing
or damaged. This happens in both halves of the worm at the same time, and
eventually you end up with two whole new worms!

 In other species, such as salamanders, regeneration works a little differently.
Salamanders dont have extra stem cells lying around in their bodies, but they
can make them if they have to. Lets say a salamander loses its leg. The leg
dies, and the salamanders cells near the wound immediately begin to cover and
heal the wound. (This is similar to what happens to you when you get a cut and
it begins to heal.)

 But what happens in salamanders next is what allows regeneration to occur. The
cells near the wound seem to talk to the other cells in the body to figure out
how to fix the problem. Some of the cells are chosen to turn back into stem
cells so they can help make the new leg. For example, cells from the
salamanders belly, which were already busy being belly cells, might change into
stem cells. As stem cells, they begin to multiply very quickly, until they
become a big glob of stem cells. Then they grow into all different types of
cells to make the muscles, bones, and skin for the leg, and some even turn back
into belly cells. In the end, the salamander is as good as new!

 Magic Genes Its still a mystery why worms, salamanders, and starfish can do
these amazing tricks but humans cant. Scientists think the answer is in the
genes. All living things have genes, which are tiny bits of data that contain
the instructions for the body.

 One scientist named Dr. Mark Keating at Harvard Medical School in Boston is
studying a special gene called msx1. This magic gene is found in salamanders,
mice, and humans. In salamanders and embryonic mice, the gene is active, and can
be used to turn muscle cells back into stem cells for regeneration. But for some
reason, the gene is turned off in people. Dr. Keating hopes to learn how to turn
it back on again, and see if it can be used to make new islets in the pancreas.

 Closing in on a Cure Scientists are making new discoveries every day, and with
each new discovery, they add a new piece to the diabetes puzzle. Studies on
salamanders, worms, mice, and humans all play a role in bringing us closer to
achieving our dream of a world without diabetes.

Bet youll never look at a salamander the same way again!   



Jana Church <email @ redacted> wrote:
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Rachel Hun


They are doing those very tests in Halifax Nova Scotia looking for a cure.
Patricia 14 and I keep joking about it at times saying things like.... sick
minds warning.... she gets the fishy things to be cured and ends up walking
around out of water with gills and mouth seeking water...weird but we find
it hard to even think it might be fish that could help with a cure. Then we
joke about other transplants they have used in other fields and think maybe
the fish might not be that bad.

All we know is we want a cure if it is ever possible without someone else
having to pass away. Sad....

Jana in Nova Scotia
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