Scientists researching a cure for diabetes say they have made a major breakthrough using human stem cells.
For the first time, stem cells have been transformed into healthy and functioning insulin-producing cells.
This important breakthrough is being seen as an important step forward to developing a cure for Type 1 diabetes – giving hope to millions of people currently battling the condition.
Scientists created healthy beta cells – which live in the pancreas and make insulin but are destroyed in the bodies of people with type 1 diabetes – in a petri dish.
They were then transplanted into mice and within days the beta cells began producing insulin and controlling blood sugar.
The findings, published in Nature Cell Biology, suggest there is the potential to finally find a cure for the chronic condition.
There are currently 400,000 people in the UK with type 1 diabetes and over 29,000 of them are children, according to the JDRF.
People with type 1 diabetes need daily injections of insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control.
But insulin injections only treat the symptoms of the disease.
Dr Gopika Nair, who led the team of researchers at University of California San Francisco, said: ‘Our work points to several exciting avenues to finally finding a cure.’