London: Scientists may be one step closer to finding a cure for diabetes with the help of a stem cell technique that can make insulin-producing cells from skin cells.

The technique helped researchers to transform punctured skin cells from diabetes patients into insulin producing cells, which could then be transplanted under the skin of people with diabetes. "The study discovers how "stand-in" cells can secrete insulin in the body", said Helge Raeder, professor at the University of Bergen in Norway.

"Our study is a step further in the spare part or regenerative medicine, where a lot may go wrong but where a successful approach may cure diabetes," Raeder added, in the paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Our study is a step further in the spare part or regenerative medicine, where a lot may go wrong but where a successful approach may cure diabetes
Raeder

Currently, there is an ongoing race between scientists trying to restore insulin secretion within the human body in diabetes patients, by artificially created insulin-producing cells. However, in the long run, they aim to replace insulin shots and blood sugar measurements with insulin-secreting cells capable of automatically secreting insulin in response to the blood sugar level, the researchers said. Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect the body's ability to produce or use insulin - a hormone that allows your body to turn glucose into energy. Diabetes, which affects 400 million people worldwide, can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney damage.

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