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Introduction to the Pancreas The pancreas is a large gland located in the upper left abdomen behind the stomach, as shown in Figure The pancreas is about 15 cm (6 in) long, and it has a flat, oblong shape. Structurally, the pancreas is divided into a head, body, and tail. Functionally, the pancreas serves as both an endocrine gland and an…

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Researchers produce fully functional pancreatic beta cells from stem cells

Insulin is a vital hormone produced by pancreatic beta cells. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the destruction of these cells, which results in patients having to replace the lost insulin with multiple daily injections. Insulin secretion can be restored in diabetic patients by transplanting beta cells isolated from the pancreas of a brain dead organ donor. However, this…

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Unchecked diabetes can cause sleep apnea

Evaluation of a 64-year-old patient with poorly-controlled diabetes offered three different specialists a glimpse of how serious the situation could become. Even a perfect control on blood glucose level does not help, they found. The patient, with a HBA1C of 9.3 per cent, was evaluated for a 24-hour period for three things — blood glucose levels during sleep, heart…

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