Narrator: This is Science Today. Type 2 diabetes affects 250 million people worldwide. Now, researchers have identified a key genetic mutation that is responsible for the disease in up to 2.5 million patients.
Goldfine: What we have found is that about 10 percent of type 2 diabetics have a defect in the gene for HMGA-1. So this is the first time we have a genetic mechanism for insulin resistance in type 2 Diabetes.
Narrator: Study leader Ira Goldfine of the University of California, San Francisco, confirmed that defects in this gene cause a drop in insulin receptors. The discovery presents a number of possibilities for future diabetes prevention and therapy, including the development of treatments that are specific to other causes of the disease.
Goldfine: I can see in 20 years a patient would come to the doctor with type 2 diabetes and the doctor would do genetic testing and clearly define what the cause is and prescribe drugs or diets to try and prevent the disease from getting worse or even reverse the disease.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.