Diabetes & Dogs!  NSF Science Now 60
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Diabetes & Dogs! NSF Science Now 60

September 8, 2019


-Music- Diabetes, dogs, and independence An engineering breakthrough in Type 1 diabetes could help dogs and humans alike! The disease affects about one in every 100
companion animals in the U.S. including dogs and cats, and approximately 1.25 million American children and adults. A multi-institution team of Purdue engineers, with funding from the National Science Foundation, is developing a new therapy that could replace the need for daily insulin injections for both canines and humans. The therapy has the potential to reduce the number of shots to one shot every few months. This breakthrough could make managing the
disease much easier. We rescued Lexi, and we’ve had her for several years. Recently we’ve noticed that there’s some different changes that she’s had so we did take her to the doctor and found out that she has diabetes. Having to give her shots twice a day I have to constantly be thinking about where I am and what time, and when I need to be home. It does affect a lot. If I could have it to where I didn’t have to worry about that every day it would make a tremendous change in my life. And my family’s life. A pre-clinical animal study conducted collaboratively with the Indiana Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Disease shows that the team’s therapy is the first minimally invasive therapy to successfully reverse Type 1 diabetes within
24 hours and maintain insulin independence for at least 90 days. Here’s how it works: the collagen formulation
provides a new set of pancreatic cells to replace the clusters of cells, called islets,
that aren’t releasing insulin to monitor blood glucose levels. The team is collaborating with Purdue’s
College of Veterinary Medicine to test their formula on dogs suffering from the disease. We’ve completed pre-clinical animal testing and would like to work with pet owners in order to apply this cell therapy to dogs with diabetes. With the ultimate goal of transitioning to humans with type one diabetes The results are promising. We are so excited and interested to move forward with dogs and humans because of the preclinical animal testing that we saw an almost immediate lowering of blood glucose and maintenance of blood glucose for a prolonged period of time. Reading re-wire! Is it possible to re-wire for reading? National Science Foundation-funded researchers
at the University of Washington have discovered that after several weeks of intensive instruction,
young participants who struggled with reading improved their skills by an average of one
full grade level. This reading growth was linked to changes
in brain connectivity. Twenty-four children who ranged in age from
7-12 years took part in an intensive 8-week one-on-one reading intervention program. As part of the study, the participating children
also took a series of diffusion MRI scans, which measure the movement of water through
brain tissue. The scans are well suited for studying the
changes in long-range connections between different brain regions, tissue known as “white
matter”, to determine what if any changes occurred in these connections. The researchers documented rapid changes throughout
an extensive network of white matter connections, changes that tracked the participants’ growth
in reading skills. The team’s findings demonstrate that targeted,
intensive reading programs not only lead to substantial improvements in reading skills
but also change the underlying wiring of the brain’s reading circuitry. Hidden ice history! The West Antarctic Ice Sheet or WAIS
encompasses more than 6 million cubic miles of ice and could cause major sea level rise
if it were to collapse. But it’s what’s happening underneath the
sheet that has researchers excited. Mt. Resnik, a mile-high inactive volcano sitting
beneath the ice sheet, has created an almost 6,000-year record of the ice sheet’s motion. The data are providing new clues to past movement
and overall behavior of a unique region in West Antarctica, which unlike other areas
that are thinning, has been slowing down and thickening over the last few decades. The record suggests that current localized
thickening of the ice sheet is just a short-term event that may not affect the ice sheet over
the long term. The team says this is the first time they’ve
seen a feature like this in West Antarctica. While this is just one data set, the team
hopes to combine more radar scans to recreate a fuller picture of the history of the ice
sheet’s motion. They are quick to point out that, the better
we know the ice sheet’s past, the more realistic we can be in predicting how the ice sheet
will respond to future climate change. For more information about these stories visit
us at nsf.gov. This is NSF Science Now, I’m Dena Headlee. -Music & credits- -End-

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