Japanese doctors are claiming to have cured type 1 diabetes
in a 27-year-old woman by transplanting islet cells from her mother into her liver. This follows a similar procedure
done last year, and is very promising indeed. The surgery is as risky for the donor as for the patient, however, as losing half of her islet cells puts the mother at significantly increased risk for developing diabetes herself. If other work
comes to fruition, then the problem will be more or less solved. A real cure for diabetes would remove an amazing amount of burden from our health care system.
Another expensive, debilitating disease, haemophillia, may soon be curable. Washington University researchers have used gene therapy to cure
the X-linked condition in newborn mice and puppies. This kind of treatment is very risky, especially in newborns (for the same reasons it's more effective in newborns), but if perfected would again take a load off many people's lives.