Researchers at Novocell report a key breakthrough in their program to find a cure for diabetes. The company reports that the researchers were able to turn embryonic stem cells into insulin-producing cells in mice. And after the mice's insulin-producing cells had been destroyed, the new cells kept their blood sugar levels in check.
"For those who say there is not much evidence that embryonic stem cells can cure diabetes, there you go," Dr. Camillo Ricordi, director of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami told The New York Times. Dr. Ricordi was not involved in the research program. The research did raise red flags, though. Some of the mice in the study developed tumors and there were questions raised whether the cells were characterized well enough for use in humans. Human trials are still several years away.
- read the article in The New York Times