Beta cells aren’t as innocent as they first appear

By | 13 March, 2012
A picture of some beta cells, apparantly

A picture of some beta cells, apparantly

For years beta cells have been portrayed as the innocent victims in the diabetes field. Nasty immune systems picked on them and destroyed them, leaving the owner with a lifetime of making up for their ineffectiveness.

Now it seems those beta cells mightn’t be as blameless as they first appear. Researchers in Belgium, funded by JDRF are now saying: “Based on our research, our understanding now is that type 1 diabetes in its early stages, is characterized by a dialog between beta cells and the immune system, instead of the previous view of beta cells as purely passive victims of the immune attack.

If your beta cells are dead, it isn’t particularly life changing to know whether it was suicide, premeditated attack or a good old fashioned two way punch up that killed them. But this dog was quite interested to see the victim status of beta cells being challenged. Shoot Up has always taken a sympathetic stance towards beta cells, this news could change the face of diabetes blogging forever.

8 thoughts on “Beta cells aren’t as innocent as they first appear

  1. Paul

    I always saw mine in a Marvin the paranoid android role.

    … Oh what’s the point anymore

  2. Tim

    I like to think of my square-jawed, manly beta cells finally being defeated after a noble fight against my marauding, verminous immune system – clutching on to a ruined bastion of a smoking castle, the last few rounds of ammunition spent and the now useless rifle tossed aside; grabbing a pick-handle and advancing forward – tattered Union Jack fluttering overhead – with a brave heart and jaw set to face their inevitable but worthy sacrifice.

    Or am I over-dramatising this?

    1. Alison

      I’m sure in time research will prove this to be a completely accurate representation of the situation @Tim.

  3. Donald Thomson

    My beta cells, much like myself in such a situation, would probably have screamed like an 8-year-old girl and run away.

  4. Megs

    What kind of dialogue would take place?

    Beta cells- “Oiii don’t hit us we’re only doing our job”

    Immune system ” Out of the way losers we’re in charge now”.

    Followed by deathly silence.

  5. Dave

    Maybe the beta cells are hiding in the appendix or male nipple waiting for the immune system to stop being such a bully.

  6. JaneC

    Well we all know what happens to bullies……….they win! she said bitterly.


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