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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Virus that causes obesity may actually help prevent diabetes

When he came to Texas Tech in November last year, he brought along both the project and the grant for continued research.
The story began some years ago when Dhurandhar noticed during his research on rodents that human adenovirus 36, which causes obesity in humans and animals, reduces blood sugar at the same time. "It's a little paradoxical because you have an agent that is making an animal fatter, so you would expect their glucose levels to deteriorate," he said.

Adenovirus is any of a group of DNA-containing viruses that cause conjunctivitis and upper respiratory tract infections in humans. The idea about a possible drug germinated then. He isolated a protein from adenovirus 36 responsible for reducing blood sugar and tested it on both diabetic cells and animals. Both experiments showed the protein improved diabetes, and other researchers doing similar experiments confirmed Dhurandhar's results.


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