Thursday, May 18, 2006

Reporting a possible breakthrough in insulin therapy

One of the major problems with trying to treat diabetes, is the body's inability to absorb insulin. Several methods have been tried, and for the most part, other than the painful injection of insulin into the bloodstream, at regular diurnal intervals, none of the other methods have been successful.

Several attempts have been made to cure the disease through gene therapy. The body, while showing an aversion to anything foreign, has a very strong resistance to the addition of genes.

Hence, viral injection of genes was touted as a solution. This method involved a mechanism similar to how the AIDS virus attacks human immune cells. The idea is for a virus to go in with the required genes, and imbibe itself into the genetic make up of the islets in the pancreas.

One obvious problem with this therapy is that there exists a high risk of rejection and jilted immunoresponse (the body's efforts to fight and reject anything foreign, including viruses), that might cause severe damage.

However, MIT's Technology Magazine reports an ultrasonic bubble technology, developed at Dallas, that shows quite a good deal of promise. This involves the application of a combination of ultrasound and microbubbles that will be able to deliver the genes into the cells, and hence might be more effective than viral-induced gene therapy.

Only time can tell whether this is an improvement, but it is exciting anyhow. The approach is quite unique and might open the key to the human body's well guarded genetic makeup.

1 comment:

Haarith Devarajan said...

interesting..keep us informed