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Snail venom key to better diabetes treatment

An international team of researchers led by scientists from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Flinders University, the University of Melbourne and Monash University has found that venom from certain fish-hunting cone snails could hold the key to developing “ultra-fast-acting” insulins, leading to more efficient therapies for diabetes management. “One such insulin, Conus geographus G1 (Con-Ins G1), is the smallest known insulin found in nature and lacks the C-terminal segment of the B chain that, in human insulin, mediates engagement of the insulin receptor … We found that Con-Ins G1 … strongly binds the human insulin receptor and activates receptor signaling. Con-Ins G1 thus is a naturally occurring mimetic of human insulin … These structural findings provide a platform for the design of a novel class of therapeutic human insulin analogs that are intrinsically monomeric and rapid acting.” The study was published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology on 13 September.

Sugar industry sponsored anti-fat research

A report published online by JAMA Internal Medicine examined the sugar industry’s role in coronary heart disease research and suggested the industry sponsored research in the 1960s and 1970s designed to influence the scientific debate…