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International Researchers develop an innovative resource to unveil the impact of type 2 diabetes

Oct, 2021 - By WMR

International Researchers develop an innovative resource to unveil the impact of type 2 diabetes

The research is based on the understanding that type 2 diabetes is caused by abnormalities in islets, which are groups of pancreatic cells that produce and secrete hormones that affect blood glucose levels.

Several human genome variants were related to type 2 diabetes, but it is not clear on how they cause disease because most are not found in genes that codes for protein. Presently, Massachusetts General Hospital researchers, has created a resource for helping in the discovery of the influence of such genetic variants. Human islet samples, on the other hand, are extremely tough to collect.  To meet these demands, scientists from the U.S., Finland, Italy, Belgium, the U.K., Sweden, and Spain collaborated to collect around samples of 500 human islet from individuals with and without type 2 diabetes, as well as gene expression and genomic data.

The team of researchers came up with the name TIGER after combining these data. The study necessitated gathering and analyzing a massive amount of data, which was achieved by the use of supercomputers and innovative statistical models. TIGER analysis revealed that some genetic variants in islets from type 2 diabetes patients manage the expression of specific genes. Until now, 32 new genes have been discovered that may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

The TIGER web portal makes TIGER information available to the public and readily available to the diabetes academic researchers. One of the developers of the TIGER portal, co–lead author Lorena Alonso quoted they are proud for they can share this knowledge to the research community in a readily available format for all scientists in the field of type 2 diabetes, even without the computational or bioinformatic knowledge.

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