Scientists Identify 12 New Genes Associated With Type 2 Diabetes

BBC News (6/27) reported that, according to research published June 27 in the journal Nature Genetics, “12 new genes linked with type 2 diabetes have been found in a study into the differences in people’s DNA and their risk of having the condition.” Notably, “the genes tend to be involved in working cells producing insulin.” The new discovery “brings the total number linked with type 2 diabetes to 38.”
The UK’s Telegraph (6/27, Alleyne) reported that the “12 new genes were identified by the international consortium led by Professor Mark McCarthy of the University of Oxford after looking at thousands of sufferers and non-sufferers.” The researchers “compared the DNA of over 8,000 people with type 2 diabetes with almost 40,000 people without the condition at almost 2.5 million locations across the genome,” then “checked the genetic variations they found in another group including over 34,000 people with diabetes and almost 60,000 controls.”
“The newly identified genes are involved in the function of insulin-producing pancreatic cells, the control of insulin’s action in the body and the regulation of cell growth and division,” the UK’s Press Association (6/27) reported.
One “unexpected finding was that one of the genes resides on the X chromosome,” HealthDay (6/27, Gardner) reported. However, “at this point, the findings don’t mean much for patients or doctors, although one day they may lead to better treatments.” Meanwhile, “also interesting is the fact that seven of the regions are known to be involved in other diseases or human characteristics including height, certain cardiovascular risk factors, and skin and prostate cancer.”
Scientists Closer To Offering An “Artificial Pancreas” To Children, Adults With Type 1 Diabetes. USA Today (6/28, Marcus) reports, “Scientists are getting closer to offering an ‘artificial pancreas’ to children and adults with type 1 diabetes that will help better control the swings of blood glucose that come with the disease.” According to USA Today, “artificial pancreas technology has three components.” The scientific community has already perfected a “continuous glucose monitor” and “an insulin pump,” both of which can be “attached to the body.” But, as scientists continue working on developing “a sophisticated computer program that can help the two devices ‘talk’ to each other and automate the process,” researchers in the UK “have been testing the multi-component system in a range of in-clinic situations.”
Their newly published paper in The Lancet indicates that a “closed-loop insulin delivery system…appears to improve glucose control in patients with type 1 diabetes, even after a large dinner accompanied by wine, compared with insulin pump therapy,” MedPage Today (6/27, Fiore) reported. Before reaching that conclusion, 12 hospitalized adults “were treated on two separate nights with either closed-loop insulin delivery or conventional insulin pump therapy.”
In short, investigators found that “with the technology, patients maintained their blood sugar levels within the target range for 70 percent of the time, compared to 47 percent of the time among those not using the technology,” HealthDay (6/27, Reinberg) reported.

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