Academics at the Peninsula Medical School are looking at what role genes play in people who develop Type 2 diabetes and how they can be used to predict the onset of the disease.
More accurate prediction could lead to improved ways of preventing the disease or at least reducing its effects.
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin produced does not work properly.
It is often linked to overweight people and usually appears in those over 40.
But in recent years, increasing numbers of children have been diagnosed with the condition, some as young as seven.
Research into the genes has been led by Dr Timothy Frayling, senior lecturer at the Peninsula Medical School.
His team have been looking for variants within the human genome that relate to the risk of Type 2 diabetes by examining thousands of DNA samples from across the UK.
Dr Frayling likens the process to identifying the types of DNA that result in the three main eye-colour types.
He said. "By comparing the genes together we have been able to take the first step towards providing predictive value through genetics for the prevention and control of Type 2 diabetes.
"The disease can be prevented through specialist dietary and exercise advice and intervention, but strict intervention is an expensive process and not everyone who is at risk can benefit from it.
"We hope that the outcome of our research will result in better mainstream prediction for Type 2 diabetes, which will in turn reduce the number of people suffering from the disease, and reduce the cost of treatment and intervention to the NHS.
"For example, we now know there are approximately four per cent of the population who are at much higher risk than other groups of people and it may be most cost-effective for the NHS to target preventative measures at them."
Type 2 diabetes is treated with lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, weight loss and increased physical activity.
Tablets and insulin may also be required to achieve normal blood glucose levels.
Dr Frayling warned that there was still some way to go before the information could be used in clinics. But he said the latest research represented a significant step forward.
Julie Monk | alfa
How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy