This summer, I've been working with an amazing non-profit organization called Marjorie's Fund: The Type 1 Diabetes Global Initiative. This organization was started in Africa and India, and now is being brought to New York City. Through research and outreach, it aims to educate and prepare Type 1 Diabetics who live in resource-poor areas. The launch of Marjorie's Fund New York City initiative is taking place on October 19th and I'm really looking forward to it! The event aims to bring young adults with Type 1 Diabetics and their loved ones from different neighborhoods together. Anyone is welcome to attend, so check out the invitation!
Biotechnology, which is the application of technology to organisms in order to create useful products, was the most interesting unit that my biology class covered this year (in my opinion). Gene therapy is an amazing subset of biotechnology that aims to eliminate genetic disorders by altering DNA. That being said, when I came across a recent online article called "Gene Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes Aims to Eliminate Daily Insulin Injections", I was extremely interested. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin made significant advancements towards a form of gene therapy for Type 1 Diabetes when they found a short segment of DNA that coded for insulin-producing cells in rats. If this sequence of DNA worked in humans, and scientists found methods of inserting it into patients, people with Type 1 Diabetes would be able to make insulin themselves, rather than having to inject it. Personally, I still have a lot of questions about this potential treatment. Are there any long term effects that could come about from inserting new DNA? Would the insulin-producing cells last in constant supply?
Check out the article here, and let me know what you think about the idea!
As soon as I read this touching article from a website entitled "The Global Diabetes Community", I knew I had to post about it. The article tells the story of the father of a two-year-old who was cured of his Type 1 Diabetes through two different organ transplants. Although his first transplant failed, the doctors were not discouraged, and made room for a "new" pancreas that can produce insulin for his body. Now, Carl Jones (no longer an insulin dependent diabetic) can lead an active life. Although this could be a lucky case, and organ transplants are still dangerous, advances like this show that Type 1 Diabetes is continuously being researched, and that doctors are making progress towards a cure.
Click here to read the full article!
I recently read an article online about a how having diabetes can affect one's relationships and ability to cope with emotional challenges. I found this article extremely relevant because it dealt not only with diabetics, but also the people they interact with. As the kid of a Type 1 diabetic, it was interesting to learn that studies have shown how valuable support is to decreasing stress and conflict in a diabetic's life. The more involved a partner, parent, or even child is, they less anxiety there is surrounding the disease and its potential effects.
Check out the full article here!
This past Thursday, I attended the launch party for a great organization, Marjorie's Fund. Marjorie's Fund aims to provide resources and training to diabetics in less developed countries.
In the news lately, there has been a lot of press about a vaccine which has been approved for tuberculosis (BCG), that could potentially prevent or delay the outbreak of Type 1 Diabetes.
My younger brother turned 11 this year, which is the same age my dad was when he got Type 1 diabetes. Recently, I have been wondering what the likelihood is that either my brother or I, or our children could develop diabetes. I looked at some different websites, and it turns out that the genetic inheritance patterns of Type 1 diabetes are still very unclear to doctors. Most of the articles I read said that you have to inherit a gene from BOTH of your parents in order to be at risk, and that there are environmental factors that could increase your chances of developing diabetes. Some of these factors include climate, and diet. Studies are showing that a diet deficient in certain vitamins triggers Type 1 diabetes in children.