Diabetes: Breakthrough?

By Shlomo Maital

diabetes

   Remember how an Australian researcher discovered the cause of ulcers – bacteria! He did it by injecting himself with the specific bacteria and causing an ulcer, at a time when the medical establishment pooh-poohed his hypothesis.

   Now comes news about a breakthrough in diabetes research. Diabetes is a virtual epidemic, as sugar consumption soars (Americans consume 30 kg. per person annually!), Coca Cola pushes sugary drinks and pays scholars to say the problem is lack of exercise….

   Scholars at Israel’s Weizmann Institute, one of the world’s greatest universities, led by Dr. Eran Elyaniv, and publishing their findings in Science,   have linked diabetes to the masses of microbes that inhabit our intestines.  They found that Type 2 diabetes is directly related to the rate at which our intestinal microbes multiply or fail to.

   The research included students of computer science, and used a new technique related to computational biology. The breakthrough shows how modern scientific research requires a portfolio of techniques that link nano, bio, computers, software, electronics, and other fields.

   The research team found that changes in the microbes in our stomach and intestines can be directly related to onset of Type 2 diabetes.

     This could possibly lead to first, much earlier detection of diabetes, bringing effective treatment; or, possibly, second, a medical cure for it (none exists today), based on medication that influences the development of intestinal microbes.

     It has long been known that our wellbeing is influenced strongly by the wellbeing of the massive numbers of microbes that live, multiply and reproduce in our intestines. Now research links this directly with diabetes.   Congratulations to the researchers.      

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