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Read what things have affected me this week and my thoughts on any recent news articles.

News roundup 26/4/11

This week some good news for those of us who have to take regular blood samples. Scientists at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan have developed a needle that mimics a mosquito’s proboscis, which is serrated and barely touches the skin so you don’t feel the initial bite. A smooth hypodermic, on the other hand, leaves a lot of metal in contact with the skin, stimulating the nerves and causing pain.
So far the prototype has only been used on a few “willing volunteers” who agree that the pain is much reduced but lasts longer than with a conventional syringe. Seiji Aoyagi is confident that by mimicking more of a mosquito’s mouthparts, he’ll be able to reduce that dull pain. Lets hope they are successful and get the needles to a pharmacy near us soon!!

Long-term health issues are a worry for all diabetics but there is some encouraging news from Scientists at the University of California, San Diego. They have developed a new treatment that could help protect patients with type 2 diabetes from kidney damage . It was found that the medication could also improve kidney function in people with both type 2 diabetes and kidney disease, as well as helping them avoid end-stage renal disease. People with diabetic nephropathy have damaged kidneys that cannot remove waste from the bloodstream, making them dependent on dialysis for the rest of their lives unless a transplant can be carried out.
Team leader, Kumar Sharma, commented “To date, therapies for diabetic nephropathy have been limited to drugs that improve blood pressure or control blood sugar levels.” However, by blocking TGF-â, pirfenidone can effectively disrupt the process that causes damage to the kidneys and leads to nephropathy.

Last week Douglas Cairns showed there is little Diabetes can stop of us from doing when he succeeded in flying his light plane to the North Pole and landing it there, setting a world speed record for a light, twin-engine piston aircraft. Cairns overcame strong headwinds, the failure of his satellite-based navigation system and his diabetes to earn a place in aviation record books, Reuters reports. Cairns who was forced to end his RAF flying career after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1989 said on Friday in an Anchorage interview
“It was rather surreal and very exhilarating to be at the crown of our planet earth with 24 hours of daylight. I’m delighted to be able to do this kind of thing solo, with diabetes.”
Cairns, 47, flew from Barrow, the northernmost community in the United States, to the North Pole on Tuesday in a Beechcraft Baron, completing the 1,300-mile flight in eight hours and 20 minutes.
The former British Royal Air Force pilot circled the geographic pole several times before landing at a nearby Russian ice camp, making him the first to land a twin-engine piston aircraft at the pole. Well done Douglas you are an inspiration to us all.

Until Next Time