"On/off Diabetes" Switch in Dolphins Could be Important Model for Humans

by Rajshri on  February 21, 2010 at 10:04 AM Diabetes News
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Dolphins have the unique ability to turn off and switch on diabetes, scientists have revealed.

The breakthrough finding could lead to a treatment and cure for diabetes in humans, say boffins.he mammal can induce the condition when there is little food around and turn it off when food is abundant, researchers found in the study.

According to researchers, this is a unique ability in the animal kingdom and results from the mammal's need to maintain high blood sugar levels to feed its big brain.

But they also believe it is an ability that humans have lost through evolution and that studying dolphins could lead to techniques to re-activate it, reports The Telegraph.

"Diabetes now accounts for five per cent of human deaths globally," said Dr Stephanie Venn-Watson, a veterinary epidemiologist and director of Clinical Research at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego.

"It is our hope that this discovery can lead to novel ways to prevent, treat and maybe even cure diabetes in humans."

Dr Venn-Watson revealed the findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Source: ANI
RAS

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