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Seared tuna with butter beans and roasted tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF / gas mark 4. Mix together the cumin, coriander seeds and chilli flakes, press into both sides of the tuna and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to develop. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan and fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to an ovenproof dish with the butter beans and tomatoes, place in the oven for 30 minutes until the tomatoes begin to char. Heat a griddle pan until smoking and sear the tuna for about 1 m ...

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Sanofis type 2 diabetes drug LixiLan meets target in Phase III trial
French pharmaceutical company Sanofi have announced successful results from its first Phase III trial of type 2 diabetes drug LixiLan. LixiLan, which was developed with Zealand Pharma, is a GLP-1/basal insulin combination. It consists of a single-injection of Lyxumia (lixisenatide), developed by Zealand, and Lantus (glargine), which is made by Sanofi. Two Phase III trials have been conducted on LixiLan, but the LixiLan-O trial is the first to have been successfully completed. In this study, 1,170 patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited. All of the participants had insufficiently controlled blood glucose on either metformin alone, or metformin with a second anti-diabetic agent. They were randomised to 30 weeks of treatment with LixiLan, Lyuxmia or Lantus, while still being treated with metformin. LixiLan showed a statistically superior reduction in HbA1c levels compared with Lyxumia only, and Lantus only, Sanofi reported. Zealand President and CEO, Britt Meelby Jensen, said: "These first Phase III conclusions confirm the therapeutic relevance of LixiLan and support the product's potential as a new single-injection combination treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes." A second study known as LixiLan-L is currently investigating LixiLan on type 2 patients whose blood glucose levels are not adequately controlled on Lantus alone. Sanofi hopes to have results from the trial later this year. When all results from the Phase III trials have been analysed, Sanofi is planning regulatory submissions to be made in the United States and the European Union to get LixiLan to market.
Researchers develop molecule that mimics effects of exercise, could treat obesity and type 2 diabetes
Researchers from the University of Southampton have developed a new compound that mimics the benefits of exercise in people with type 2 diabetes. The molecule, which is known as "compound 14," blocks an enzyme called ATIC, which has an important function in metabolism. By blocking ATIC, compound 14 causes a molecule called ZMP to build up. ZMP makes the central energy sensors of cells (these are known as AMPK) think that energy are levels are low. In response, the cells increase their uptake of glucose, thereby lowering blood sugar levels. This is similar to the effects of exercise, which also triggers an increased glucose uptake by the cells. The researchers conducted the study on two groups of mice: the first was fed a normal diet; the second was fed a diet designed to make them obese and glucose intolerant. Both groups were given compound 14. The first group remained at a normal weight, and kept their normal blood glucose levels. But the second group - the group put on a bad diet - lost five per cent of their body weight, lowered their blood glucose levels, and generally improved their glucose tolerance. The normal-diet group of mice did not lose weight when given compound 14, but they didn't need to. Compound 14 could lead to new and improved treatments for obesity - by triggering weight loss - and type 2 diabetes - by lowering blood glucose levels. Compound 14 could particularly help the significant portion of people with type 2 diabetes whose blood glucose levels may not benefit from exercise. "Current treatments for type 2 diabetes centre on elevating circulating insulin levels or improving the insulin sensitivity of an individual," said Dr. Felino Cagampang, associate professor in integrative physiology at the University of Southampton. "The issue is that established drugs do not successfully enable patients with type 2 diabetes to achieve glycemic control and some can even result in weight gain, a leading factor driving the diabetes epidemic. "In contrast, this new molecule seems to reduce glucose levels and at the same time decrease body weight, but only if the subject is obese." Although highly promising, the research remains at a preliminary stage. This study was only conducted on mice, and the immune systems of humans may not work in the same way. But the researchers are hopeful about the potential of their findings. Next, they hope to monitor compound 14's long-term benefits regarding weight loss and blood glucose levels. If further trials are successful, compound 14 could form the basis of new treatments for obesity and high blood glucose levels. Lead author Ali Tavassoli, professor of chemical biology at the University of Southampton, added: "There is a lot of evidence from previous studies that if you could selectively activate AMPK with a small molecule, it could have potential benefits in the treatment of several diseases, including type 2 diabetes, by acting as an exercise mimetic and increasing the uptake and usage of glucose and oxygen by cells. "Our molecule, which activates AMPK by altering cellular metabolism, therefore holds much promise as a potential therapeutic agent." The results were published in Chemistry and Biology.
Adults with type 2 diabetes seven times more likely to develop tuberculosis
Having type 2 diabetes as an adult makes you seven times more likely to develop tuberculosis (TB), according to new research. The study, conducted at Townsville Hospital in Queensland, Australia, recommends screening all diabetes patients for tuberculosis, even in parts of the world where TB is scarce. The researchers examined the medical data of 69 Australian patients, all of whom had TB at some point between 1995 and 2014. Within this group of TB patients, 23 per cent also developed type 2 diabetes. The researchers then compared this data to that of the general population and found a strong association between diabetes and tuberculosis. Patients with diabetes were seven times more likely to have tuberculosis. "You can have TB your whole life and not know it, but if you suffer from diabetes and your immune system is not functioning well, it can flare up," said Robert Norton, MD. The researchers did not find that type 2 diabetes is a cause of tuberculosis, or the other way around; they only discovered a correlation between the two. More research is needed to properly understand the link between diabetes and tuberculosis. Norton stressed the importance of screening diabetes patients for TB. "It is especially important because the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing at a very significant pace." The research was published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Insulin resistance could increase risk of Alzheimers in middle-aged adults
People who develop insulin resistance at late-middle age could be more likely to develop Alzheimers disease, according to new research. The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, found that adults with insulin resistance had lower glucose metabolism in the lower left medical temporal lobe of the brain, an area related to the memory function. The researchers analysed the data of 150 adults, all of whom were aged between 48 and 71. Moreover, all of the adults were cognitively normal, but they did have a higher risk of Alzheimer's through their parents. The researchers used cognitive tests and MRI scans to assess the brain activity of the participants, then measured their insulin and glucose levels after 12 hours of fasting. They found that higher levels of insulin resistance were linked to lower glucose metabolism across several areas of the brain, including the frontal, lateral parietal, lateral temporal and medical temporal lobes. The strongest link, though, was in the left medial temporal lobe. Low glucose metabolism in this area is associated with degraded memory function. The study did not, however, find a causal link. All the researchers know is that insulin resistance and low glucose metabolism in the left medial temporal lobe occur simultaneously. More research is needed to confirm a causal link. Neither did the research suggest that every middle-aged adult with insulin resistance will develop Alzheimer's disease. It merely found that the risk might be increased. The study is useful because it adds to the rapidly expanding body of knowledge about diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, and because it provides direction for future studies on the subject. "This study provides evidence that insulin resistance is associated with brain glucose metabolism in a late middle-aged cohort enriched for [Alzheimer's disease] risk factors," wrote the researchers. "The prevalence of [Alzheimer's] continues to grow, and midlife may be a critical period for initiating treatments aimed at preventing or delaying the onset of [Alzheimer's]."
New study to examine benefits of very low calorie diets for people with type 2 diabetes, builds on Newcastle diet findings
Researchers at Imperial College London are examining the potential benefits of a very low-calorie liquid diet for people with type 2 diabetes. The study builds on the findings of the 'Newcastle diet' research. The 2011 study found that, by restricting 11 patients to 600 calories or fewer per day, they lost weight and improved their blood glucose control. Seven of the 11 participants were free from diabetes after three months of the study. The diet has proved popular among people with type 2 diabetes. However, it, like other very low-calorie diets, is not supposed to be followed over an extended period of time. They are short-term methods to bring type 2 diabetes under control, and they need to be followed up with something more sustainable. As promising as the Newcastle diet was, it was also in some ways limited. For one thing, it only examined 11 patients. A bigger study was needed to analyse the diet's effects. The Imperial College London study aims to more comprehensively explore the effects of very low-calorie liquid diets on people with type 2 diabetes. In total, 90 participants who have had type 2 diabetes for more than 20 years will take part. The participants will be split evenly into two groups: the first group will follow a liquid-based low-calorie diet for three months. The diet will consist of soups and shakes, and it will provide a total of 800 calories per day. After three months, the researchers will slowly re-introduce food. The second group will receive NHS Gold Standard Clinical Care, which is made up of a low-calorie diet and regular exercise. "Low-calorie diets could transform diabetes treatment, and provide a drug-free way of treating and even reversing the condition," said Adrian Brown, a specialist dietitian at Imperial, and coordinator of the study. "We hope that this trial, the largest of its kind to date, will provide us with further evidence of the effectiveness of this new approach." However, Brown warned that type 2 diabetes should not adopt a low-calorie diet without first consulting their diabetes team. Catherine Collins, Principal Dietitian at St. George's Hospital in London, also points out the potential dangers associated with very low-calorie diets and type 2 diabetes: "Very low-calorie diets for type 2 diabetes may prove useful for those battling weight issues, but blood sugar will need to be monitored carefully to avoid it from dropping too low."
Scientific breakthrough in T cell editing could fight off diseases
American scientists have devised a gene-editing technique, known as Crispr, which can modify human T cells to protect against diseases such as type 1 diabetes. T cells are a type of white blood cell which circulate in the bloodstream. They are involved in many disease processes, including type 1 diabetes, HIV and cancer, but up until now, scientists have not been able to replace mutations with healthy strands of DNA. In type 1 diabetes, killer T cells incorrectly target the insulin-producing beta cells within the pancreas. This severely affects the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels and the signs of diabetes. If scientists can change the behaviour of T cells, they may be able to stop the killer T cells from attacking pancreatic cells. What is Crispr? Crispr (Clustered, Regularly Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeat) was developed by investigators at the University of California (UC), San Francisco. This approach enabled UC researchers to identify precise positions on a DNA molecule, and using an enzyme called Cas9, remove the strands and replace them. In one study, scientists used Crispr to disable the CXCR4 protein on the surface of T cells - this can be exploited by HIV when T cells are infected, which causes AIDS. They also converted another T cell protein, called PD-1, which is involved in controlling the immune system's attack on cancer cells. This finding could have implications for cancer immunotherapy, with the researchers aiming for T cells to be generated that could keep the disease at bay. By conducting "gene editing" on T cells, a number of Crispr/Cas9-based therapies could emerge for diseases such as type 1 diabetes, cancer and HIV. Dr. Alexander Marson, UC, said: "Genome editing in human T-cells has been a notable challenge for the field. So we spent the past year and a half trying to optimise editing in functional T-cells. There are a lot of potential therapeutic applications, and we want to make sure we are driving this as hard as we can."
Father of two branded unfit parent and reported to social services after hypo
A young father of two with type 1 diabetes feared he would lose his children after a paramedic reported him to social services. March Le Fey, 25, was told by a paramedic that he was putting his children at risk by having poor control of his blood glucose. "I was just responding to treatment when one of the paramedics laid into me," said Mr. Le Fey. "He blasted me for not looking after myself and said I was unfit to be a parent. Because I was still coming out of the hypo I couldn't get the words out to defend myself or explain. But he just carried on and said he was reporting me to child protection at social services. "He knew nothing about my medical history and that the problems I have with my diabetes are not something I can control. It's got nothing to do with me not looking after myself." When Mr. Le Fey experienced severe hypoglycemia, his ex-partner called an ambulance. It was there, while being treated, that he was heavily criticised by the paramedic. Despite having a history of hypoglycemic episodes, Mr. Le Fey insists that his children - Elliot, five, and Isaac, three - are perfectly safe. Not only does Mr. Le Fey have an app on his phone to alert his ex-girlfriend when he is having a hypo, his son Elliot also knows to call his mother in case of a hypo. "I have a lot of support from ex and her partner and the kids are not in any danger. And the accusation made against me by the paramedic was so wrong. "I was really worried they might take the kids away from both myself and my ex. "We are very close and do everything to make sure the kids are safe and well looked after. So they can be closer to both of us, I'm moving into the same block of flats as my ex next week. "I have a known complication of diabetes and if the paramedics had bothered to give me a chance I would have told them. We all have a right to live. There are plenty of people with diabetes and other medical conditions who look after their kids perfectly safely." Social services have decided to take no action against Mr. Le Fey. It was Mr. Le Fey's ex-partner, who is training to be a nurse, who contacted, eager to share his story and improve diabetes awareness. Mr. Le Fey has struggled with hypo unawareness, a term which refers to type 1 diabetes patients who find it hard to tell when their blood glucose levels are running low. People with a lack of hypo awareness are more likely to experience episodes of severe hypoglycemia, which often require hospitalisation. The Hypo Awareness Program is an educational course designed to help people with diabetes improve their Hypo Awareness Program. 75 per cent of people who used the program stated that their hypo awareness improved as a result. Image: copyright Barry Gomer.
Safety of alteplase drug approved to treat stroke patients
A medication that is often used to treat strokes has been called "safe and effective" by a panel of independent experts. Concerns had been raised over the safety of alteplase - an injectable drug which clears blood clots - which is given to stroke patients within the first four-and-a-half hours. By breaking down blood clots, alteplase helps restore blood flow to areas of the brain that have been affected by a stroke. This reduces the risk of long-term disability. The UK Medicines watchdog called for an independent review after claims that the benefits did not outweigh the dangers. An increased risk of dangerous bleeding in the brain is among the reported side effects of alteplase. However, the UK's Commission on Human Medicines, chaired by Professor Sir Ian Weller, concluded: "The evidence shows that for every 100 patients treated with alteplase, whilst there is an early risk of a fatal bleed in two patients, after three to six months, around 10 more in every 100 are disability-free when treated within three hours." People with diabetes face a greater risk of stroke, but maintaining good control of the condition can increase your chances of preventing a stroke. Keeping blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure within target ranges is important, as is maintaining a healthy BMI. Other factors that increase the risk of stroke include smoking, excessive alcohol intake and a family history of stroke.
French partnership to develop artificial pancreas for type 1 diabetes
A French research institute have announced a joint venture with a research project to develop an artificial pancreas for people with type 1 diabetes. CEA-Leti and Diabeloop, an artificial pancreas project, have previously collaborated on a three-year research project investigating a "closed loop" system. This included clinical trials in hospitals. The "closed-loop" system feeds a person's blood glucose levels into a small computer via a sensor. The insulin dose required is then delivered by a pump. A smartphone with an embedded algorithm and patient interface links the sensor and the pump. In this new project, Leti aim to develop the regulation algorithm of the artificial pancreas system. As well as blood glucose levels, they plan for carbohydrate intake, physical activity and emotional state history to be monitored. The system will then be able to predict how changes in insulin doses affect blood glucose in the next few hours and administer an appropriate dose later in the day. Pierre Jallon, Leti R&D manager for digital health-and-wellness systems, said: "This joint lab with Diabeloop will build on the success we had in the earlier research project, and bring the world's first artificial pancreas closer to reality. Erik Huneker, CEO of Diabeloop, added: "The Diabeloop system can fundamentally improve everyday life of diabetes patients. It will allow better control of their blood sugar and result in a strong reduction in hypoglycemic events and associated comas, as well as a decrease in diabetes-related complications, such as ocular and renal complications and amputations."
Researchers find potential new ways to prevent osteoarthritis knee pain in adults with type 2 diabetes
New research finds that an intensive exercise and healthy eating regime can reduce the knee pain caused by osteoarthritis in overweight adults with type 2 diabetes. Osteoarthritis is a common complication for overweight people with type 2 diabetes. The added weight places extra strain on the joints. Osteoarthritis can also develop as a result of natural wear-and-tear, so it tends to affect older people more often. Being overweight and over the age of 50 are also conditions that increase the likelihood of type 2 diabetes. The researchers hypothesised that the right diet and the right exercise regime could prevent knee pain caused by osteoarthritis "Prior to this study, we did not have empirical data to support the claim that diet and exercise actually worked to prevent knee pain," said study leader Daniel White, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware. "Now we do have a study." How was the study conducted? The researchers compared two groups: the first received intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI); the second received standard diabetes mellitus support and education (DSE). After one-year and four-year periods, the participants were questioned about any knee pain they experienced. "The analysis involved a subcohort of 2,889 subjects who reported no knee pain at baseline, but were at high risk due to obesity." The intensive lifestyle intervention mainly involved restricting calories. Moreover, at least 10 per cent of the participants' calories had to come from protein. Exercise intervention was based on gradual progression of home-based exercise, culminating in 175 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. In most cases, the particularly activities included brisk walking. White explained that the research only focused on people with type 2 diabetes who were overweight, because the excess weight increased the strain on their joints. People with type 2 diabetes triggered by other causes, such as polycystic ovary syndrome and genetics, do not have a heightened risk of osteoarthritis. "We did not study people in the general population, but only adults who were diabetic and overweight," said White. The results White found the results reassuring. People who received the intense lifestyle intervention were 15 per cent less likely to report knee pain than those who received the standard diabetes mellitus support and education. "Among these we studied who were randomised to the diet and exercise intervention, it was found that they were 15 per cent less likely to develop knee pain compared with their counterparts randomised to the control condition. "These findings are very important. They demonstrate that the recommendations to exercise and diet to make a difference for preventing the development of knee pain among those who are at high risk." Knee pain is responsible for more disability among people of middle or older age than any other condition. These findings could lead to more effective methods of knee pain prevention. "I study physical activity among people with knee arthritis," White said. "I felt it was important to investigate whether exercise combined with diet did in fact protect against the development of knee pain." The findings were published in Arthritis Care and Research.