Campus & Community

Research in brief

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Scientists identify major molecular pathway that leads to diabetes

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have discovered what they believe is the fundamental mechanism within cells that links two fast-rising public health threats: obesity and type 2 diabetes.

In identifying a specific cell-signaling pathway through which excess fat sets in motion a series of steps culminating in diabetes, the scientists have gone further than previous studies that provided shards of evidence but not a satisfactory whole. An article on the work appears in the Oct. 15 issue of Science.

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Mechanism discovered for muscle wasting seen in diabetes, AIDS

Muscle wasting is associated with aging and is a serious consequence of a number of diseases, including cancer, AIDS, and diabetes. It can cause generalized weakness and debilitation and in its extreme, when respiratory muscles are involved, asphyxia and even death. Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center, with the assistance of other collaborating researchers, have discovered an important biochemical pathway for muscle wasting – as well as a potential target for drug therapy. The study was published in the Oct. 15 issue of the journal Cell.

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– Compiled by Gazette staff