Hailing the advancements in stem cell research — that led to production of insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas — as one of the “major breakthroughs in science during 2014”, former President and scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has expressed hope of a permanent cure for diabetes in the next three years.
Delivering the valedictory address of Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering’s (SJCE) Golden Jubilee celebrations here, Dr. Kalam said scientists had successfully found a way to turn human embryonic stem cells into beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. The destruction of the insulin producing cells in the pancreas causes Type-1 diabetes. Presently, persons suffering from diabetes inject the required dozes of insulin into their body to keep the sugar level in the blood under check.
Dr. Kalam was referring to the research by a team of scientists from Harvard that had appeared in scientific journals. However, he said studies were still continuing to find out the reasons for the pancreatic cells to stop producing insulin. “I am hopeful that a permanent cure for diabetes can be found in the next three years,” he said.