The latest development in health and sciences just proved that skin grafts using the CRISPR gene editing can have the ability to prevent and cure diabetes. This was claimed after it was proven that this artificial skin transplants prevented mice from developing diabetes.
A group of researchers at the University of Chicago conducted a proof-of-concept study which gave the results of proving the efficiency of this skin transplant as a cure for diabetes. They were able to edit stem cells from newborn mice in order for them to produce glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1).
According to a report from Engadget in relation to this health breakthrough, this GLP-1 is the hormone that stimulates the pancreas to release insulin while keeping a balanced level of sugar in the blood. The mice, which were used in the said study, received genetically modified skin grafts. But prior to this, they were fed first with high-fat diets in order to stimulate obesity.
In the course of the study, the researchers observed that the mice saw a reverse in insulin resistance. Moreover, they gained approximately half as much weight compared to those which were not given the grafts.
In diabetes, obesity is one of the main and primary risk factors most especially in type 2 diabetes. Obese people have high insulin resistance which now results in the said health condition.
With this, the senior author of the research claimed that this treatment can work for people suffering from diabetes since the nature of growing human skin from stem cells is not that expensive. Medical experts can rely on the efficiency of the skin grafts for the treatment of the condition.
Apart from its effectiveness if treating diabetes, artificial skin has also been used as a treatment for burns for years now. But since the skin can now be artificially grown in the laboratories, researchers and experts thought of other clinical uses for the treatment.
But the said study has one limitation and this kept the researchers holding back. Until this day, the stem cell-generated skin transplantation has only proven to work on mice. Despite that hurdle, this newly-discovered treatment for diabetes marks another breakthrough in the medical field. With this, the researchers are also looking forward to using the gene-edited grafts to cure other health conditions.