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Islet cell transplants have already proven successful in curing diabetes but one drawback is the shortage of donor pancreas. For a successful transplant, a large number of islet cells are required. Scientists have now been able to overcome this by making more of the required cells by using a serum from cows to stimulate reproduction of islet cells into primitive precursors. These cells have been found in studies to produce small amounts of insulin. The downside is that these primitive cells are not as effective as the original cells and have only grown in cultures but nevertheless they are a promising start for further research.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by BBC News
About: Problem of shortage of islet cell donors
Date: 28 November 2004
Source: BBC News
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