Protein may help prevent diabetes by keeping insulin-making cells alive

Islets isolated from a rat pancreasDiabetes researchers hoping to enlist the help of a protein targeted by cancer therapies have gained an important new insight into how the protein, known as mTOR, works in the pancreas. Ironically, diabetes researchers are hoping to promote the capability of mTOR that oncologists want to shut down: its ability to cause cells to reproduce by dividing into copies of themselves. That capacity can be deadly in tumors, but diabetes researchers want to use mTOR’s ability to make cells divide to maintain enough insulin-making beta cells in the pancreas to prevent diabetes. More…

Preliminary study demonstrates calorie restriction reduces markers of aging

Restricting calories may mean living longer.Can eating a low-calorie yet nutritionally balanced diet extend human life as it does in rodents? Preliminary research suggests it might, so researchers at the School of Medicine are launching a long-term study to find out.

Gene may increase risk for type 2 diabetes

Two international research teams — one led by M. Alan Permutt, M.D., professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis — have found variations in a gene that may predispose people to type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. The two research teams, which collaborated extensively, will report their findings in companion articles in the April issue of Diabetes.