From VOA Learning English, this is Science in the News. I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.
And I’m Avi Arditti. Researchers1 are reporting progress in treating2 Type 1 diabetes. Today we will tell you about their findings3. We also have a report about the Kepler Space Telescope. American scientists are turning their attention to4 all the information it has gathered5 over the past four years6. And researchers say extreme weather7 could be coming our way8 – from the sun. We will have more about their prediction9.
Researchers have come closer to improving10 treatment11 for people with Type 1 diabetes. They have successfully placed12 insulin-producing islet cells13 from one animal species into another without using14 anti-rejection medicines15. In the future, the transplant operation could provide16 an unlimited supply17 of tissue18 to treat people whose19 bodies cannot20 produce insulin.
Insulin is a hormone produced naturally21 by the pancreas. The hormone carries22 glucose, a kind of23 sugar, to the cells for energy. Type 1 diabetes is a disorder24 of the body’s immune system25 for fighting disease26. In most patients, the immune system attacks and destroys the islet cells that produce insulin. Many patients must27 inject themselves with insulin, simply to survive28.
For a long time, scientists have sought29 to take30 islet cells from people or even31 from pigs and place them inside another person32. Insulin exchanges33 from human remains34 have proved difficult, while35 animal-to-human transplants have been almost impossible36.
Now, that is starting to change37. Researchers at Northwestern University have carried out38 an islet cell transplant from rats39 to mice40 without the use of anti-rejection medicines. Xunrong Luo is the head41 of the Northwestern medical school’s human islet cell transplantation program. She says the transplanted rat cells produced insulin in mice for more than 300 days.
“They survived42 essentially indefinitely43. So they continued to produce insulin without the need44 of any immunosuppression and they just continued to maintain normal glucose levels in these diabetic mice.”
The mice were given45 white blood cells from a rat’s spleen46, which is part of the immune system. They were bathed in chemicals47 that put the cells into a sleeping condition48 known as49 programmed cell death50.
The changed cells were injected into mice. They entered the spleen and liver51 of the mice, but soon after52, they were destroyed by cells called macrophages.
Researchers say the macrophages recognized53 the sleeping rat cells as waste54. In that process, small pieces of the rat spleen cell ended up on the surface55 of the macrophages. This taught56 the mouse’s immune-system T cells to accept57 islet cells, which researchers transplanted seven days later.
“So we are pretty excited about58 that because next step59 is to see if we can translate this into larger scales, into larger animals.”
Xunrong Luo says her team will now try60 to transplant pig cells into monkeys61. She also wants to use what is almost62 an unlimited supply63 of pig islet cells for transplants into patients with type 1 diabetes.
1. Researchers = pesquisadores
2. reporting progress in treating = relatando progressos em tratar
3. findings = descobertas
4. turning their attention to = virando a atenção deles para
5. has gathered = tem reunido
6. over the past four years = ao longo dos ultimos 4 anos
7. extreme weather = clima extreme
8. could be coming our way = poderia estar vindo em nosso caminho
9. prediction = previsão
10. come closer to improving = chegando mais perto para melhorar
11. treatment = tratamento
12. have successfully placed = tem colocado com sucesso
13. islet cells = células isoladas
14. without using = sem usar
15. medicines = medicamentos
16. provide = fornecer
17. unlimited supply = suprimento ilimitado
18. tissue = tecido
19. whose = cujo
20. cannot = não conseguem
21. naturally = naturalmente
22. carries = transporta
23. kind of = tipos de
24. disorder = distúrbio
25. immune system = sistema imunológico
26. fighting disease = combater a doença
27. must = devem
28. simply to survive = simplesmente para sobreviver
29. have sought = buscado
30. take = tirar, pegar
31. even = até mesmo
32. inside another person = dentro de uma outra pessoa
33. exchanges = trocas, permutes
34. human remains = restos humanos
35. while = enquanto
36. have been almost impossible = tem sido quase impossível
37. starting to change = começando a mudra
38. have carried out = tem realizado
39. rats = ratos
40. mice = camundongos (plural de mouse)
41. head = chefe, cabeça
42. survived = sobreviveu
43. indefinitely =indefinidamente
44. without the need = sem a necessidade
45. The mice were given = foi dado aos camundongos
46. Spleen = baço
47. bathed in chemicals = banharam em substancias quimicas
48. sleeping condition = condição de dormer
49. known as = conhecido(a) como
50. cell death = morte cellular
51. liver = fígado
52. soon after = logo após
53. recognized = reconheceram
54. waste = detrito, lixo
55. end up on the surface = terminam na superficie
56. taught = ensinou
57. accept = aceitar
58. pretty excited about = bastante empolgados sobre
59. next step = passo seguinte
60. try = tentar
61. monkeys = macacos
62. almost = quase
63. Unlimited supply = suprimento ilimitado