Searching for a Genetic Marker for Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers at the University of Manitoba have begun looking for the genes that determine pancreatic islet cell mass. If they are successful, they may ultimately be able to identify people with a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes.

Presently, very little is known about islet cells. It is believed that they achieve their peak mass during the newborn period or even in the uterus. The researchers are cross-breeding mice in order to determine which genes control pancreatic development. Only then, will they begin the search for the corresponding genes in humans.

A report on their progress was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, January 1995.

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