Thursday, November 16, 2023

Gene Finding Provides New Insights

    Today's blog post has to do with new gene findings which provide new insights into pancreas development and in helping search for a cure to type 1 diabetes. For those with diabetes, glucose can't be used for energy, so it builds up in someone's bloodstream and causes serious health problems. Luckily, there is a peptide hormone called 'Insulin' that is produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets which are encoded by the insulin gene in humans. Recently though, scientists found a gene which is essential for making the pancreas; and this gene is not found in almost all animals, except for chimpanzees, gorillas, and a few other types of monkeys. 

    A study was done and that is when the gene, which is called ZNF808 was found. By finding this gene during the study, it was able to show how different humans and animals are when it comes to research, and it really showed the importance of studies on the human pancreas. By studying the pancreas, we would be able to find new treatment for diabetes, and also figure out why the human pancreas is different in how it looks and develops compared to animals. After studying the ZNF808 gene it was found that it is a part of a family of evolved proteins which are in regions of DNA that they consider junk DNA. After recent studies it shows that this region of DNA where ZNF808 is, is actually an important role in human development. 

    Now that the DNA region in which ZNF808 was found is being studied, we understand that there are hundreds of genes which are like ZNF808 that will be able to help in overall human health. In the lab it was studied on the effect of ZNF808 loss while using stem cells; and it was found that ZNF808 plays a big role in important functions during early human development when our cells have to decide whether they want to become a pancreas or a liver. With this finding it is now known that this could be used to manipulate stem cells so that they produce beta cells which will be able to produce insulin on their own. If that works out we will be faced with finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Main Source:

Gene finding provides new insights into pancreas development and helps search for type 1 diabetes cure (

Other Sources:

The Relationship Between Insulin And Glucose | DiabetesTalk.Net

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