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Apr 29, 2014 04:31 PM EDT

Stem Cell Research Breakthrough: How Scientists Plan to One Day Soon Treat Type-1 Diabetes


Scientists may finally have an answer for Type-1 diabetes beyond insulin and dietary changes, stem cells.

According to NBC News, a new study was successful in cloning the stem cells of a woman with Type-1 diabetes. The cells were a match to her and the disease, marking a potential breakthrough to how Type-1 diabetes, a disease that affects tens of millions of people in the world, is treated.

"I think this is going to become reality," study researcher Dr. Dieter Egli, of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, told reporters. "It may be a bit in the future but it is going to happen."

The team published their work in the journal Nature on Monday.

Also published this month was a study in the journal Cell Stem Cell that clone human embryos as a source for stem cells that match the patient. Both studies are promising for the future of medical treatment. Since stem cells can take the form of any human cell, they can be used to treat diseases like diabetes and conditions like organ failure.

"We reaffirmed that it is possible to produce patient-specific stem cells using a nuclear transfer technology regardless of the patient's age," Cell Stem Cell study co-lead author Young Gie Chung, of the CHA Stem Cell Institute in Seoul, South Korea, told CNN.

Stem cell research has controversial beginnings because scientists needed to destroy an embryo in order to use the stem cells. Ethical concerns flew all over since an embryo technically has the potential to develop into a person.

2012 Nobel Prize winner Shinya Yamanaka developed a technique called  "induced pluripotent stem cells," or IPS cells, that revert mature cells to their formative stages. With the controversy seemingly taken out of stem cell research, it has been able to surge ahead.

"People have made patient-matched stem cells using IPS methods," Egli told CNN. "But it is not clear in the U.S. at the very least, and also elsewhere, how and if these are going to be translated into people."

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