Science: Creating Insulin

With a little help from E. coli

So many public alarms have been sounded lately about the possible perils of genetic engineering that its vast potential for good has often been overlooked. Now that imbalance should be somewhat corrected. Last week, after months of careful, skillful and imaginative use of the new gene-splicing techniques, California scientists announced that they had achieved a long sought goal: the creation in the lab of a microbe that can manufacture human-type insulin.

For those diabetics who either cannot make enough of the vital hormone or cannot use it effectively, the feat is potentially a double boon....

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