Researchers at Stanford University have come up with a vaccine that uses modified DNA to block certain sections of the human immune systems. It could therefore have a positive impact on combating the type 1 diabetes, opening new doors to the treatment of the disease.
Dubbed as a DNA reverse vaccine, it would work in a very different manner than the traditional vaccines. Unlike the general vaccines that just boost the patient’s immune system, this reverse vaccine does just the opposite: it turns of the portions of the immune system that aren’t functioning well.
This type 1 diabetes is caused due to immune cells that attack the cells in the pancrease that make insulin. This possible reverse type 1 diabetes vaccine can help combat diabetes by putting a check on such immune cells.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas produces very little to no insulin, thus failing to convert sugar into energy. Patients therefore are required to take multiple shots of insulin everyday to maintain a constant supply of insulin.
The success of implementation of this kind of reverse vaccine for type 1 diabetes would eliminate the need for the patients of having to take insulin shots everyday.
How scientists produced this possible type 1 diabetes vaccine.
The scientists modified a DNA containing INS gene which helps in increasing the amount of pro insulin protein in the body. The pro insulin acts like a precursor to insulin. When this DNA was induced into the vaccine, leading to increase of proinsluin and the ultimate shutdown of the cells that attack pancreas.
This type 1 diabetes reverse vaccine can become one of the greatest inventions in modern day medical science if it can be implemented properly.