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High-fat meals can affect glucose levels

Joslin researchers studying patients with type 1 diabetes have found that dietary fat can affect glucose levels and insulin requirements.

These findings have major implications for the management of type 1 diabetes.
Research has shown that dietary fat and free fatty acids (FFAs) impair insulin sensitivity and increase glucose production. Most studies have focused on the role of fat in the development of type 2 diabetes. However, studies of people with type 1 diabetes have shown that higher-fat pizza meals cause hyperglycemia hours after being consumed.
In reviews of continuous glucose monitoring and food log data from adult patients with type 1 diabetes, Joslin clinicians observed that "several hours after eating high-fat meals, glucose levels went up," said study lead author Howard Wolpert, MD, Senior Physician in the Joslin Clinic Section on Adult Diabetes and the Director of the Insulin Pump Program at Joslin.

New method developed to produce ‘safer’ vaccines

Producing vaccines against viral threats is a potentially hazardous business, which is why manufacturers choose to operate under strict controls to ensure that no pathogens escape to the outside world.

Now, scientists from the UK have developed a new method to create an entirely synthetic vaccine that doesn’t rely on using live infectious virus, which means it is much safer, the BBC reported. Also the prototype vaccine that they have created, for the animal disease foot-and-mouth, has been engineered to make it more stable, meaning that it can be kept out of the fridge for many hours before returning to the cold chain.

The research is a collaboration between scientists at Oxford and Reading Universities, the Pirbright Institute, and the UK’s national synchrotron facility, the Diamond Light Source near Oxford.

Diamond is a particle accelerator that sends electrons round a giant magnetic ring at close to the light speeds, the electrons emit energy in the form of intense X-rays that are channelled along “beamlines”- into labs where they are used to analyse structures in extraordinary detail.

Synchrotrons have been used earlier to analyse viruses at the atomic level, but the technology has advanced considerably to enable scientists to create a stable synthetic vaccine.

Game to help blind navigate through unknown territory

Researchers have developed a virtual gaming environment to help blind people improve navigation skills and develop a cognitive spatial map of unfamiliar buildings and public locations.

Dr. Lotfi Merabet, Department of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, said that for the blind, finding their way or navigating in a place that is unfamiliar presents a real challenge, Science News reported.

He said that people with sight, can capture sensory information through their eyes about their surroundings but for the blind it’s a real challenge as they typically use auditory and tactile cues.

The technique utilizes computer generated layouts of public buildings and spatial sensory feedback to synthesize a virtual world mimicking a real world navigation task.

In the game, participants must find jewels and carry them out of the building, without being stopped by roaming monsters that steal jewels and hide them.

Participants interface with the virtual building by using a keyboard and wearing headphones that play auditory cues, which help spatially orient them to the world around them.

This interaction helps the user generate an accurate layout of the mimicked building mentally.

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