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More than half a century after researchers identified a promising way to treat diabetes based on blocking the breakdown of insulin in the body, a research team led by a scientist at the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida have developed potent molecules that can do just that.

The researchers say their findings, published in the May issue of PLoS ONE, could lay the foundation for a new class of drugs for treating diabetes. The tiny molecules they developed work by inhibiting a powerful molecular machine known as insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) from chewing up the insulin hormone. That keeps insulin in the body longer to help remove glucose (simple food sugar) from the blood.

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