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Biochem Diabetes

            Biochemistry is about life at the molecular level. Biochemists have the ability to work in many fields and look into life from the view of the molecule. Diabetes is very common among people and is not a major problem now but will be in the next century or so. Diabetes is defined by resting hyperglycemia. Glucose has to stay in a fine concentration area. It's needed for the brain, muscles and fats. In the normal state, it's controlled by insulin and glucagon which is both produced by the pancreas. Insulin is required by muscle, fat and the liver. It is vital for life. When you eat, the relative concentration of insulin is increased. Later, glucagon rises and balances the hormones. Glucagon is there to mobilize and stabilize the levels of insulin. Diabetes is a relative or absolute deficiency of insulin. Two types of diabetes: Type I and Type II. Type 1 (or juvenile onset) is an alter-immunitive disease which causes the body to recognize the Beta cells as a foreign entity and destroys it. The Beta cell is the cell which creates insulin. Without treatment, it is fatal. These people are insulin dependant for life. A cure for Type 1 is currently being investigated. It's treated with insulin but a better way is needed. The most promising approach is eyelet transplantation. Take eyelets from recently deceased and transplant into diabetic patients. However, there is a chance of rejection of the cells as in any transplantation. Also, there is no where near enough tissue to generate enough eyelets for all of the diabetics. Stem cells are also being investigated to see if its possible to generate Beta cells. Type 1 is less than 10% of diabetics. Type II diabetics are over 90%. They have the Beta cells and some insulin but the Beta cells can't keep up. There is a relative insulin deficiency, it can't keep up. The problem is the body is developing a resistance to insulin. There is a genetic component that is related to Type II diabetes.

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