Genetic engineering has been able to produce unusual solutions to serious physiological problems, but a lot is still in the testing phase. The novelty now, which has been developed by researchers at the University of Chicago, may be the solution to the problems of diabetes in a relatively straightforward way: using artificial skin grafts with the altered DNA structure.
To prove if this is indeed possible, the scientists performed tests on laboratory mice. First, the animals had their stem cells altered as infants so that it was feasible to control the levels of insulin produced by their pancreas. Then they were subjected to different diets, from greasier to healthier.
Less appetite, more health
In the cases of rats that ate more damagingly (considering that obesity is one of the major causes of type 2 diabetes), modified skin grafts prevented them from developing the disease.
The method uses a gene that encodes the hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1, or GLP-1. It is responsible for decreased appetite and for regulating the level of blood sugars.
Still far from being a definitive solution to diabetes, the method shows that the use of genetically modified skin grafts can help to develop cures for health problems in a more lasting way and with fewer side effects.