Scientists at MIT are trying to improve therapeutics for diabetes. Insulin is a crucial molecule that helps control the level of sugar, or glucose, in the blood. When insulin levels aren’t maintained in the right way, it can be life-threatening. Diabetics are thus tasked with monitoring their blood sugar levels and injecting the appropriate amount of insulin, as explained in the video.
To reduce some of the risks posed by having insulin levels that are out of whack, researcher Abel Cortinas is trying to create an insulin molecule that is active when it is needed and can deactivate when it’s no longer required.
His award-winning image illustrates this so-called smart insulin molecules, and a technique called X-ray diffraction, which is used to analyze these engineered proteins.