Posts Tagged ‘neonatal diabetes’

The word Diabetes focused my interest.

Yesterday morning I was listening with half an ear to a radio trailer for a programme coming on in an hour.

BBC’s Radio 4 is running a series profiling scientists and their work in various fields called The Life Scientific.

Frances Ashcroft was the subject for this episode.Who is she?

The search for a cure for diabetes goes on in medical research centers all over the world and nearly every day newspaper headlines announce that somewhere a team of scientists has made a major breakthrough.

Usually these often sensational pronouncements hover around the ether for a week or so and then get filed in the memory bank and the teams of scientists return to their work benches and microscopes to continue their quest for a cure.

Until yesterday morning Frances Ashcroft was one such anonymous boffin to me.

Now, thanks to the BBC’s ever inquiring spirit she has come into three dimensions–and hers is a good story.

To quote from Wikipedia, her work “with Professor Andrew Hattersley has helped enable children born with a rare form of diabetes–neonatal–to switch from insulin injections to tablet therapythus making the condition infinitely easier to cope with for thousands of very young sufferers and their parents.

Prof. Ashcroft with some of the youngsters helped by her discoveries.

Her enthusiasm and passionate commitment to the cause make it a compelling listen.

 Listen here to the BBC radio piece.

It encourages me to believe that one fine day–with people like Professor Ashcroft on the case–a cure to Type 2 diabetes will be found.

The ultimate goal-according to her Oxford University Dept’s websiteis to elucidate how a rise in the blood glucose concentration stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreatic beta-cells, what goes wrong with this process in type 2 diabetes, and how drugs used to treat this condition exert their beneficial effects.

In other words : to discover what causes Diabetes.

This is a short film on her now available on YouTube.

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