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Mice Rids of Diabetes Via Cells Grown in Rats

Update Date: Feb 01, 2017 07:50 AM EST

In a recent experiment, mouse pancreas was gathered from a genetically-engineered rat to cure its diabetes. The successful experiment opens the possibilities of creating human organs inside animals like sheep or pigs

According to an article from The Verge, a mouse pancreas was successfully genetically engineered inside rats. The experiment includes a process wherein the genetic make-up of the rat was altered to be able to develop an organ inside without having the genes to produce such.  Mouse stem cells were injected into the rat to develop the pancreas. The engineered rat embryo can create any tissue of organs in the body when injected with mouse stem cells.

The gathered organ was comprised entirely of mouse cells, isolated clusters of insulin-producing cells and were later transplanted into a diabetic mouse. Results of the experiment revealed that the mouse's diabetes was reversed and its sugar levels remained down for a year. Even without anti-rejection medication, the mouse received the organ from the rat without any complication.

Nature online magazine revealed that there is still a lot of research to be done to be able to see if the process would work and be functional for people. Its implications to what the future hold is also enormous. The success of the Islet transplantation to treat the diabetes of the mouse subject only shows that the rat pancreas created from rat pluripotent stem cells opens possibilities of doing so in other animals or ultimately in humans.

A total of 120,000 Americans is in line to receive a lifesaving organ transplant. But, with a limited number of organ donors and shortage in donated hearts and lungs, an average of 20 people a day die waiting for the organ that could extend their lives. The recent success of the mouse and rat experiment is a bright light in the organ transplant aspect of medicine and treatment.

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