Diabetes has become a common disease and number of people suffering from this disease has increased. Insulin has been a most effective drug for curing diabetes. For many years the scientists have been working on and carrying on the projects to understand the role of insulin in curing diabetes. The structure of insulin got discovered in 1969 but till now the exact way it worked remained a mystery. How insulin binds to the cells could not be understood. With the recent researches that was carried out by the researchers of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Melbourne, the scientists have been able to find out how exactly insulin works and signals the cells to take sugar from the blood. Diabetes breakthrough in this field will definitely offer better life for the diabetic patients.
The team that comprise of the researchers from CSIRO and Synchroton, Australia and also scientists from UK, the US and Czech Republic, the 3 D picture of binding of insulin to its receptor on the cell surface have been found successfully. This diabetes breakthrough will ensure that millions of lives will get improved. This new findings may give rise to new type of insulin that do not require any injectors or do not need to be taken very often. The associate professor Mike Lawrence who is the part of the research team states that their finding will help the developing nations in having the better treatment for diabetes. It future if it possible to create insulin that is more stable and would not degrade easily if not kept in cooler place then this new medicine would definitely open up a new door for the pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies have already started showing their interest regarding this insulin.
The research work related to this new diabetes breakthrough was basically the responsibility of the scientist Guy Dodson from New Zealand. He has started his work on insulin in 1967 in Oxford University. Dodson worked in collaboration with his the institute on this latest breakthrough. Just weeks before the findings of the team got published; he died at the age of 75. The publication of the team was dedicated in the memory of Guy Dodson.
The various factors and components on which the diabetes breakthrough research of the institute relied on were-
- A giant X-ray beam was used which was known by the name- Australian Synchrotron MX2 micro crystallography beam line. The electrons get fired from this device and as a result the rays with more intensity than that of the sunrays got produced. The team could examine insulin and its receptor in a crystalline structure.
A Chinese hamster was used by the researchers who used the ovary cells of this animal for producing insulin receptor.
- Cow insulin used in the research was combined with the receptor in a stable crystalline state and then it got examined in the synchrotron.
Now it is time to wait and find out the further consequences of this breakthrough in diabetes treatment.