Genetic factors in diabetes. Conceptual computer artwork of an insulin molecule (background) and chromosomes (white), representing genetic factors in diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which the body either fails to produce the protein hormone called insulin, or becomes resistant to its effects. Insulin, produced by the pancreas, is an important hormone that is needed to control the uptake of the sugar glucose from the blood. Some genes have been linked to some types of diabetes. Chromosomes are found in cell nuclei, and contain DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Genes are short bits of DNA that control protein synthesis.
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