children and twins concept – two identical twin girls in red dresses looking somewhere
As always, lots of news in the T1d community. Here goes!
Preventing the Immune Response to Implanted Diabetes Devices was reported by Jessica Apple on ASweetLife.org last week.
JDRF announced a report of one of the first studies to deeply examine the fundamentals of how the immune system interacts with implantable biomaterials. The study was conducted by researchers at MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital and was reported in the journal Nature Materials.
According to JDRF’s press release, tens of millions of people in the United States are living with implanted biomedical devices or devices that penetrate the skin. “By understanding how to target and prevent unnecessary immune responses to the materials used in medical devices, we can provide therapies that work more effectively and with fewer negative side effects,” said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF Chief Mission Officer. The new report, “Colony stimulating factor-1 receptor is a central component of the foreign body response to biomaterial implants in rodents and non-human primates,” could influence the future ability to prevent immune rejection of devices that treat type 1 diabetes.
There are Two Types of Beta Cells and One Resists Immune System Attacks, according to a new study published in Cell Metabolism, 7 March 2017, which details a subpopulation of insulin-making beta cells that can resist immune system attacks while type 1 diabetes is developing.
In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the insulin producing beta cells, which over time largely stop being created by the pancreas due to it being a seemingly futile effort. However, some patients with type 1 even after many years, still have some existing beta cells. according to researchers, finding more about these cells may guide the way to recovering these cells in patients with diabetes.
As reported by Close Concern, in a press release, Dr. Kevan Herold of Yale University said, “During the development of diabetes, there are changes in beta cells so you end up with two populations of beta cells,” and that “One population is killed by the immune response. The other population seems to acquire features that render it less susceptible to killing.”
To follow on this, researchers plan to “tackle insulin-production in this beta cell subpopulation”, which Close Concerns write is necessary if scientists are to harvest Btm cells in place of stem cells for type 1 cell transplant therapies.
New CGM Technologies and it’s getting better all the time, in an article, How Wearable Tech is Bringing Normality to the Lives of Diabetics, on Wearable.com, 16 March, 2017 by Hugh Langley.
Non-invasive testing, where the skin isn’t penetrated at all, is the holy grail of glucose monitoring. Verily, the Alphabet subdivision formerly known as Google’s Life Science, has an idea for a contact lens that would read levels of glucose found in human tears, and it’s not the only one. But the idea is yet to be shown working accurately.
At the same time, Verily has teamed up Dexcom for a wearable tracker is made of two parts: a disposable needle that goes just under the skin to monitor interstitial fluid; and a patch that sits on top, housing the electronics that measure the sensor and transmit them to a Bluetooth device.
French company PKVitality is developing a device called the K’Track Glucose Watch. Like other CGMs the watch penetrates the skin to the interstitial space, but with an interchangeable module, changed once a month, that sits on the back of the watch and pushes the biochemical sensors under the skin. PKVitality claims its watch is very accurate at +/- 8%, however it is yet to get the clearance from health regulators to put it in the hands of consumers. The watch is set to cost $150, with a monthly $99 for each capsule.
A team at Seoul National University in South Korea are offering another glimmer of hope for non-invasive believers. They have found a way to read glucose levels in skin sweat with a disposable wearable patch.
“The sweat contains a small amount of glucose which is derived from blood and interstitial fluid,” say Hyunjae Lee and Changyeong Song, the researchers on the team. “Because the sweat glands are distributed throughout the body and the sweat responses occur rapidly, the sweat could reflect dynamic physiological conditions of body.”
And finally, health tech startup Siren has come up with a simple yet effective solution: a pair of socks. These aren’t ordinary socks of course, but smart socks made for detecting early signs of injury. Our bodies respond to injury with inflammation, which causes heat; Siren’s socks alert the wearer with a notification on their smartphone when they detect rising temperature in specific areas of the foot.
How Health Apps are Promising to Reshape Healthcare published an interview with 2 executives from MySugr, a start-up that designs apps for diabetes management by McKinsey & Company Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products, February 2017. The executives were Frank Westermann, the CEO and cofounder, and Anton Kittelberger, the COO.
At mySugr, we are firm believers that innovation in digital health will be driven by the patient and by patient-centric solutions. We focused on patients from the very beginning, whereas many of our competitors target physicians, hospitals, or solutions for the healthcare industry. Our patient focus is rooted in our history and makeup as a company: Anton and I, as well as 30 percent of our employees, are diabetics. This allows us to work to create something that patients actually need and want to use, because we’ve also tested it ourselves.
Regarding our long-term vision, FW said: We have no plans to expand to other disease areas. We live and breathe diabetes, and that gives us our competitive edge. Our long-term plan is to become a digital diabetes clinic: a full-service platform that makes life easier for people with diabetes. We’ve made a start by building a diabetes-educator program, and we also want to bring in physicians. We see our role as being an enabler in any context where the patient doesn’t actually need to be present in the physician’s office.
Read the interview: How health apps are promising to reshape healthcare
And the most interesting for last, What Twins Can Tell Us About the Causes of Diabetes, as written by Wil Dubois of www.DiabetesMine.com, 23 March 2017. I’ve always been fascinated by twins, especially identical twins … and any studies about them. This is an AMAZING and FASCINATING article … a MUST READ!
Despite the science that type 1 is basically genetic, diabetes researchers have long known that identical twins don’t have the identical risk of developing type 1 diabetes; and this fact has long fueled theories of environmental causes as the root source of type 1 diabetes.
It turns out that identical twins are not so identical after all. We have cancer researchers to thank for this insight, not diabetes researchers.
Monozygotic twins, commonly called identical twins are a pair of babies that came from one egg and one sperm cell. In the womb a pair of such embryos have always been viewed as carbon copies of each other, sharing an identical genetic blueprint. And they do, at least in the beginning.
But in recent decades, genetic research has shown that the DNA of identical twins diverges over time. These so-called epigenetic changes are powered by environmental factors, and drive the twins farther apart genetically as they explore the world on their separate paths.
So the older the twins get, the less identical they become, due to these two types of genetic changes. This is why younger identical twins look more the same than older sets—because the younger pairs actually are more identical.
But it’s more than just looks. Somatic changes have a larger impact on the DNA blueprint than epigenetic changes do, and while most somatic changes seem harmless, it’s now believed that most cancers can be traced to somatic mutations.