Research team makes potentially major breakthrough in treating Diabetes

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DENVER -- A Harvard research team claims to have come up with a new way to help combat Type I diabetes with the use of stem cells.

The researchers say the stem cells can create hundreds of millions of beta cells, which produce insulin. When the cells are transferred to diabetic mice, they behaved as healthy cells do and regulated blood sugar.

“We can cure their diabetes right away, in less than ten days,” says Dr. Doug Melton. “Six months later that was still the case.”

This could be "the biggest breakthrough in years towards a cure.”

While in 15 years of testing the group has been able to develop insulin-producing cells from cadavers, they weren’t able to generate the quantity needed. Now, by using stem cells, they can say this is a bigger discovery than insulin.

Melton had a personal interest in the project because both of his children were diagnosed with the disease as youngsters.

The next steps include moving to clinical trials in humans, possibly in as few as three years.