Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that afflicts 17 million people in the United States and is the fourth leading cause of death. Over 2 million patients suffer from its most severe form - childhood diabetes – also known as Type 1, juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes. We now understand that childhood diabetes is an autoimmune illness, where the bodys own white blood cells, which normally fight infection, turn and act against the body. These white blood cells target a specific group of cells in the pancreas – beta cells – that produce insulin, the hormone necessary to convert food into energy. Over time, such a large number of beta cells are destroyed that there is a lack of insulin and diabetes develops.
Scientists have long sought a means to predict the onset of diabetes through routine blood tests of destructive white blood cells so that high-risk individuals could be treated before all their beta cells are destroyed and they become diabetic. Progress has been so limited however, that it has been debated whether these cells were present in the blood at levels high enough to facilitate direct detection.
In the January 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Rusung Tan and colleagues at British Columbias Childrens Hospital, Canada, reveal a method for directly measuring the level of these self-destructive cells in the blood of mice and demonstrate that these levels reliably distinguish mice that go on to develop diabetes from those that do not.
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MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
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Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
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