Hibernating bears could hold a clue to treating diabetes
Scientists have discovered eight key proteins—also found in people—that help keep grizzly bears diabetes free.
If a human ate tens of thousands of calories a day, ballooned in size, then barely moved for months, the health outcomes would be catastrophic. Scientists have long been puzzled why this same behavior doesn’t lead to diabetes in grizzly bears—until now.
By feeding honey water to hibernating bears, researchers at Washington State University have discovered genetic clues to how these bruins can control their insulin. Their results—published in iScience—might lead to better diabetes treatments for people.
Insulin is a hormone found in most mammals that regulates the body’s blood sugar levels, for instance by telling the liver, muscle, and fat cells to absorb blood sugar, a source of energy. But if a lot