Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Exploiting Nature’s Weapons in the Fight Against Diabetes

24.03.2004


Scientists at the University of Ulster are harnessing molecules produced naturally in the body to tackle one of the world’s major health problems - diabetes.



Their novel approach involves bioengineering gut peptides – molecules produced in the human intestine and released in response to feeding – to prolong their duration of action and, therefore, make them work more effectively.

The research by the internationally-recognised Diabetes Research Group at the University’s Coleraine campus could lead to the development of new therapies to combat Type 2 diabetes.


Findings of the Group’s research were presented recently to the Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference in England.

In essence, the Group is exploring ways to make new therapies based on the architecture of gut peptide molecules. Using bioengineering technologies the scientists are able to produce long-acting molecules, which are not quickly degraded in the circulation, giving them more time to perform their tasks which include stimulation of insulin secretion and glucose metabolism as well as suppression of appetite.

The anticipated outcome is that these new bioengineered molecules will lower the blood glucose levels – the desired effect of any anti-diabetic drug.

Dr Victor Gault, a senior member of the Diabetes Research Group, said: “There are more than 150m reported cases of diabetes worldwide and, potentially, an equal number who remain undiagnosed. The incidence of diabetes is set to increase to 220m by 2010 with a predicted doubling in the number of reported cases within 20 years. In the US alone, the direct cost of treatment is more than $44bn, prompting a concerted research effort to find new ways to treat, cure and even prevent diabetes.

“Our research highlights the fact that perhaps nature knows best when it comes to regulating human metabolism and overcoming progressive disease processes.

“The onset and progression of Type 2 diabetes is closely associated with the increasing sedentary lifestyle of modern Western society which largely accounts for the huge rise in the incidence of obesity. The diverse range of important biological actions would support the view that bioengineered peptides may be particularly useful in the treatment of obesity-related diabetes.

“Traditionally therapies for Type 2 diabetes have focussed on single drug targets. In the future our bioengineered peptides could be used alone or together with insulin or other established anti-diabetic drugs, thus increasing the therapeutic arsenal of agents that can be used to combat diabetes”, Dr Gault added.

One of the bonuses of using natural molecules lies in the fact that they are generally better tolerated by the body than synthetically manufactured therapeutic agents.

David Young | University of Ulster
Further information:
http://www.ulster.ac.uk/news/releases/2004/1105.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>