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Stem cells for the benefit of diabetics

Instead of organs, transplanting insulin-secreting cells may replace pancreas transplants as a treatment for diabetes

Almost all research groups in Israel are engaged in developing innovations for the treatment of diabetes patients. The effort is invested in trying to create cells, which are derived from embryonic stem cells, which will be directed in the process of growing them in the laboratory to serve as insulin secreters.

Dr. Suhir Asadi, an expert in internal medicine and nephrology at the Technion School of Medicine, reported last year to the scientific journal "Diabetes" about a breakthrough in this subject that she made under the guidance of Prof. Karl Skortsky, director of the Rappaport Institute for Research at the Technion and head of the Nephrology Department at Rambam, and who previously researched And he found that genetically all the priests come from one source. Dr. Mati Zuckerman of Rambam participated in the research and it was done on the basis of the discovery of
Prof. Yosef Itzkovich-Eldor.
In this study, the embryonic stem cells were formed in the first six days after IVF and were not rooted in the uterus. They were kept frozen for several years and donated to research. The cells were put into tissue culture where a large amount of "rows" were formed, which then spontaneously differentiated into different cells. It was found that in this procedure a relatively significant proportion of insulin-secreting cells appeared. In Dr. Esadi's estimation, in the not too distant future, among other things with the help of genetic engineering techniques, the injection of such embryonic stem cells into a diabetic patient will replace existing treatment methods, including pancreas transplantation.
Israel currently has approximately 400 diabetic patients, and thousands more are discovered every year. "At a time when there is a severe shortage of organs for transplantation all over the world," says Dr. Esadi, "this will be the solution."

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