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Newfound Hormone Holds Hope For Diabetes Treatment

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A nurse collects a blood sample from a patient using a glucometer at a free health clinic on November 1, 2009. (credit: NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

A nurse collects a blood sample from a patient using a glucometer at a free health clinic on November 1, 2009. (credit: NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) - Scientists have identified a hormone that can sharply boost the number of cells that make insulin in mice. They say the discovery may someday provide a new treatment for the most common type of diabetes.

People naturally make their own version of this hormone, and the research suggests that giving them more might someday let people with Type 2 diabetes avoid insulin shots.

The new work was reported Thursday in the journal Cell.

Scientists found that when they made mice produce extra amounts of the hormone, the pancreas responded by making more cells that pump out insulin. The scientists have not yet tested whether that will treat diabetes in mice.

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