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D. Growing Muscle to Study A Growing Problem

Narrator: : This is Science Today. Type II diabetes is a growing health problem. Dr. Robert Henry of the University of California, San Diego points out that unlike type I diabetics, who need insulin shots to stay alive, type II's make insulin. However...

Henry: These individuals with type II diabetes don't respond normally to the insulin that they have in their body. It's normal insulin but it just doesn't work normally. And this insulin resistance is primarily in their muscle -- the muscles that move their body -- and in the liver.

Narrator: : Fortunately, Henry has found that he can take muscle tissue from diabetics and keep it alive in the laboratory for months at a time.

Henry: And it continues to act just like muscle from the diabetic patients. So essentially what we have is we have muscle in the laboratory that is diabetic. And this allows us to do some very sophisticated studies on what may be causing this insulin resistance.

Narrator: : If he can find the cause, that will be a big step toward better treatment -- and maybe a cure. For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.