Scientists have made a breakthrough that they think could lead to a cure for diabetes in men. In recent experiments on diabetic mice, researchers were able to use tiny slivers of human testicular tissue to make replacements for the faulty cells that cause the condition, allowing the mice to produce their own insulin, the Daily Mail explains. The researchers predict they could be able to fully cure type 1 diabetes in men and boys in as little as five years.
In the tests, the mice were only able to produce enough insulin to last them for about a week, but researchers think they can extend that duration. “We know that spermatogonial stem cells have the potential to do what we want them to do,” one said, “and we know how to improve their yield.” Within months, they hope to test the technique on humans. For now they’re focusing on men, but they suspect the technique could be adapted to use eggs instead of sperm. (Click for more on the growing number of Americans with diabetes.)