Diabetes encompasses a group of metabolic disorders that result in chronically elevated blood sugar levels. If untreated, these diseases can result in serious complications such as ketoacidosis, heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke. The most common type of diabetes is type II diabetes, which accounts for 90-95% of cases (a recent Philadelphia study helped us gain further insight into why type II diabetes occurs). The incidence of type I diabetes is much lower, accounting for just 5-10% of cases. However, while type II diabetes can resolve on its own with changes in diet and exercise habits, type I is considered incurable. Now, a new study from the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus has identified a new class of antigens that may be a factor in the development of the disease.Read More
Dr. J. Lee Nelson (right) has been studying the fascinating phenomenon of microchimerism in the context of autoimmune disorders ever since she joined the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center faculty in 1986. Microchimerism refers to the presence of two distinct sets of cells in one individual and is surprisingly common as a result of cell exchange between mother and child during pregnancy. The numbers of these outside cells is typically small, but Dr. Nelson's research has implicated them in various autoimmune responses, both positive and negative.