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'Seaweed could help cure diabetes'

'Seaweed could help cure diabetes'
19th February 2008

Seaweed could be the key to curing diabetes, according to new research.

A study conducted at San Diego-based firm Microlslet shows that alginate, which is extracted from the plant, can be wrapped around insulin-producing cells taken from pigs and injected into patients' bodies.

Researchers claim that this hides the pig cells from the immune system and means that the animal cells can continue to produce insulin.

They have suggested this could rid patients of the need to inject themselves with insulin each day.

Jo Brodie, a spokeswoman for Diabetes UK, told the Daily Mail that using animal cells to produce insulin for humans may have "huge potential".

This follows news that six centres across the UK will benefit from a share of £10 million of government funding to help develop transplants of insulin producing cells.

Experts hope that the technique, which has been used successfully on a number of patients, can offer a complete cure for the disease.

According to Diabetes UK, diabetes affects more than 2.3 million living in the UK.

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