Massachusetts General Hospital

Can you teach a cell new tricks? Diabetes research aims to do just that.

Can you teach a cell new tricks? Diabetes research aims to do just that.

Domenico Accili confesses it all sounds a little like science fiction, or maybe simply magic, but the professor of medicine at Columbia University is convinced he can coax endocrine cells in the gut to change jobs and, in the process, reverse Type 1 diabetes.

If it works — and it's too early to say that it will — that would be a game-changer for the chronic condition.

“Existing treatments fiddle with the disease, make it more palatable, more acceptable, and reduce complications,” Accili said. “But they do not cure the disease.”

Desmond Schatz, director of the University of Florida Diabetes Institute, agrees. “We have over 500 ways of reversing or preventing diabetes in...

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