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Find out the latest news about JDRF's research and fundraising events.

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Research scientists from King’s College London show their support for #TypeOnesie before World Diabetes Day

Scientists conducting vital research into the causes of type 1 diabetes have got behind the #TypeOnesie campaign – by donning animal onesies in the lab.

Dr Tim Tree and his expert team of immunologists are funded by JDRF. We paid a visit to his Tree Lab, where they were getting into the #TypeOnesie mood.

Dr James Reading, a member of the team, was having fun with puns in his animal onesie. He said: “I am delighted to get behind #TypeOnesie - we want everyone affected by the condition to know that we're hot on the tail of type 1. It was plenty of fun to be fur-thering research whilst insulin disguise!”

Since JDRF was established 40 years ago it has funded more than £1 billion of research worldwide on type 1 diabetes. Together with research scientists and people affected by type 1, we have developed a research strategy that helps us to focus on the aspects of type 1 research that we think will make the biggest possible difference to people with the condition, now and in the future. 

World Diabetes Day takes place every year on 14 November and this year, JDRF is asking people to be a #TypeOnesie, wearing a onesie for the whole day to raise funds and awareness. 

Pledge your support for World Diabetes Day 2013 by being a #TypeOnesie. Get involved in this exciting campaign and help JDRF improve treatments until we find the cure. 


Leeds Spinners raise over £2,500

Leeds office workers donned their cycling shorts to raise over £2,500 for JDRF in the Spin to Cure Diabetes on Thursday 28 June. JDRF was thrilled that so many workers took on the challenge and spent their lunch hour spinning to raise awareness and vital funds to support type 1 diabetes research.

Five teams of five pushed their bodies to the limit over eight-minute interval sprints on static Watt bikes at Wellington Place, Leeds. Teams included staff from Leeds-based KPMG, Eversheds, Addleshaw Goddard, RG Group and Pure Gym.

The fastest team was Eversheds who achieved a distance of 26,458 metres in 40 minutes. Steve Simkins from KPMG was crowned the ‘King of Spin’, covering 5,677 metres and Lenka Benesova from Pure Gym was crowned the ‘Queen of Spin’ with a distance of 5,056 metres (both pictured left).

Macquarie Group worked with JDRF to host the fourth series of bike-a-thons in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds, with Nuffield Heath supporting the event as Fitness Partner. Bikes were provided by TEAMcycles.

Chris Normington, JDRF’s Development Manager for the North, said: 'There was a fantastic atmosphere at the event, with participants cycling hard, the crowd roaring their encouragement and teams cheering each other on to get the best time of the day. We believe the Leeds event will have raised more than £2500, so this is a marvellous achievement and well done to all involved.'

David Fass, CEO of Macquarie Group EMEA, said: 'Macquarie is proud to be a key supporter of JDRF in the UK and we were delighted with everyone’s efforts and would like to say a huge thank you for taking part. Events like this really help JDRF raise the profile of type 1 and we will continue to assist JDRF in its important work for people with type 1 diabetes and their families.'

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Beta cells: divide and conquer?

JDRF- funded scientists at the University of Pittsburgh in America have uncovered a new way to grow human beta cells in the lab.

The team led by Professor Andrew Stewart, were able to get human beta cells to divide and make more cells. Not only that, but they then managed to stop the cells dividing again. The research was published in this month’s issue of the journal Diabetes.

The researchers added genes called cdk and cyclin d into the beta cells. These genes make the cells divide and are usually switched off in beta cells. To deliver these genes into the cells they used a virus that can get into cells easily. Once they had enough beta cells, they added a drug to the cells which switched off the virus and stopped the cells dividing.

In the body, beta cells divide very slowly or not at all so when the immune system attacks them, the cells are not replaced. Usually in type 1 diabetes there are a few beta cells remaining and if scientists could make these cells divide they could replace the cells destroyed by the immune system.

It is also difficult for scientists to study human beta cells in the lab because beta cells are in such short supply. So making more of them will allow scientists to do more research towards finding a cure for type 1.

Although these researchers had previously shown that they could make beta cells divide, this latest study shows that they have developed a way to stop the cells dividing as well. This is particularly useful because the genes they used to make the cells divide are not usually switched on in beta cells - so when they are dividing a lot they are not identical to the beta cells in the body. Switching these genes off again makes them more similar to ‘real world’ beta cells, which means any discoveries scientists make using these cells  are more likely to be applicable to beta cells in the body.

Rachel Connor, Head of Research Communication at JDRF, said ‘These are very interesting results because it is often difficult for scientists to get human beta cells to study. Growing beta cells in the laboratory that are as similar as possible to those in our bodies will help type 1 diabetes researchers to test their ideas and develop new ways of treating type 1 much more effectively.’