World Health Day: Beat Diabetes


There are currently 422 million people in the world who have diabetes – about 0.6% of the world’s population.

This figure is expected to double in the next 20 years.

In light of this alarming trend, the World Health Organization is dedicating 2016 World Health Day: Beat Diabetes to raising awareness of this life-threatening condition. Here are the basic stats:

who-world-health-day (2)

Diabetes is an endocrine disease. So, to mark World Health Day, we have created a collection of recent, high-impact diabetes articles and made them all free to read – for the next two weeks. So have a browse below and find out how science is bringing the fight to diabetes!

Journal of Endocrinology:

Current understanding of metformin effect on the control of hyperglycemia in diabetes Hongying An & Ling He.

Lack of glucagon receptor signaling and its implications beyond glucose homeostasis Maureen J Charron and Patricia M Vuguin.

Defective insulin secretion by chronic glucagon receptor activation in glucose intolerant mice Linda Ahlkvist et al.

Identification of ABCC8 as a contributory gene to impaired early-phase insulin secretion in NZO mice Sofianos Andrikopoulos et al.

Increased Slc12a1 expression in β-cells and improved glucose disposal in Slc12a2 heterozygous mice Saeed Alshahrani et al.


Journal of Molecular Endocrinology:

Oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress in β-cell dysfunction in diabetes Sumaira Z Hasnain, Johannes B Prins and Michael A McGuckin.

Non-coding genome functions in diabetes Inês Cebola and Lorenzo Pasquali.

miR-410 enhanced hESC-derived pancreatic endoderm transplant to alleviate gestational diabetes mellitus Yang Mi et al.

Inhibition of 11β-HSD1 by LG13 improves glucose metabolism in type 2 diabetic mice Leping Zhao et al.

Demethylation of the MafB promoter in a compromised β-cell model Wataru Nishimura et al.


Endocrine Connections:

Update on strategies limiting iatrogenic hypoglycemia Aldo Bonaventura, Fabrizio Montecucco and Franco Dallegri.

Central and peripheral pathogenetic forms of type 2 diabetes: a proof-of-concept study Dmitry M Davydov and Malik K Nurbekov.

Lower fasting blood glucose in neurofibromatosis type 1 Aline Stangherlin Martins et al.

Gut microbiota and diet in patients with different glucose tolerance Lilit Egshatyan et al.

Mendelian randomization studies of biomarkers and type 2 diabetes Ali Abbasi.


 Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports:

A silent myocardial infarction in the diabetes outpatient clinic: case report and review of the literature M S Draman et al.

Severe hypercalcemia and hypernatremia in a patient treated with canagliflozin Arshpreet Kaur and Stephen J Winters

Spontaneous diabetic myonecrosis: report of four cases from a tertiary care institute Soham Mukherjee et al.

One year remission of type 1 diabetes mellitus in a patient treated with sitagliptin Marcos M Lima-Martínez et al.

Suspension of basal insulin to avoid hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes treated with insulin pump Mauro Boronat

Oncogenes and predicting clinical outcomes in thyroid cancer

Coinciding with World Cancer Day, this month’s issue of our journal Endocrine-Related Cancer includes an exciting new review of cutting edge research on a putative new oncogene TERT, and its role in affecting clinical outcomes in thyroid cancer. Journal editor Charis Eng is here to tell us why this is such a significant piece of work.

Over the last 10 years, thyroid cancer has been the fastest rising incident cancer in women and second fastest in men, without clear aetiology.  In the January 2016 issue of Endocrine-Related Cancer, Liu and Xing from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine provided an authoritative review article on “TERT promoter mutations and their role in predicting clinical outcome in thyroid cancer”.

Up until recently, BRAF and RAS somatic mutations were utilized to predict outcome in thyroid cancer.  Two years ago, Prof Xing was the first to show that TERT promoter mutations were associated with the most aggressive thyroid cancers.  Now, the authors bring us an erudite and comprehensive review on this new and cutting edge field.

The oncogenic role of TERT promoter mutations involve creation of consensus binding sites for ETS transcriptional factors.   The mutations occur with an increasing prevalence from low- to high-grade thyroid tumours, namely, on average, 0%, 11.3%, 17.1%, 43.2%, and 40.1% in benign thyroid tumours, papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), follicular thyroid cancer, poorly differentiated thyroid cancer, and anaplastic thyroid cancer, respectively (Figure 1). They are strongly associated with aggressive clinicopathological outcomes, including aggressive pathological features, tumour recurrence, and patient mortality.  Importantly, TERT promoter mutations are also associated with BRAF and RAS mutations, and their coexistence has a robust synergistic effect on the poor clinicopathological outcomes of thyroid cancer.

This review by Liu and Xing conclude that the mutated TERT gene is a prominent new oncogene that plays an important role in thyroid tumorigenesis and represents a novel diagnostic and prognostic molecular marker and therapeutic target in this cancer.



Fig 1

Figure 1. Prevalence of TERT promoter mutations increases with the grade of the thyroid tumour and is associated with more aggressive clinicopathological outcomes.


To find out more on the latest endocrine cancer research across all our journals, visit our new website Hormone-Related Cancer.

Debunking the Open Access Myths, Open Access Week 19-25th October 2015


Nature’s 2015 Authors’ Insights Survey suggests that open-access (OA) perceptions are changing.  However, our journal’s team find that concerns are still rife. As part of International Open Access Week, SfE’s OA journals, Endocrine Connections and Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports (both published by Bioscientifica), are addressing the most commonly expressed OA ‘myths’ and reviewing the evidence to refute them.  Continue reading “Debunking the Open Access Myths, Open Access Week 19-25th October 2015”

Oxytocin: love in the air, junk in the literature

by Professor Gareth Leng

volesA beautiful story, from a host of elegant work on voles, has popularised the idea that oxytocin released in the brain is a “love hormone”, instrumental in forming long term bonds between sexual partners. Understandably, a huge amount of interest has been aroused about whether oxytocin has similar effects in man. Continue reading “Oxytocin: love in the air, junk in the literature”