Good news for diabetics from Australian researchers, who have solved a 20-year mystery which could end the trouble of daily injections. The study has been published by the journal Nature in its latest issue.
The new insight into how insulin works at a molecular level could be used to develop improved insulin to treat both type-1 and type-2 diabetes. Researchers have captured the first 3-D images of insulin “docking” to its receptor, a mystery they have been trying to solve for two decades. Previously, scientists were not sure how insulin binds to the cell receptors to allow them to absorb blood sugar and transform it into energy.
This discovery could lead to new insulin types that could be administered in ways other than injection, or an insulin with better properties or longer activity so that it doesn’t need to be taken often. It may also have ramifications for diabetes treatment in developing nations, by creating insulin that is more stable and less degradable when not kept cold, an angle being examined currently.