Having diabetes means we spend our days thinking about the immediate issues (What's my blood glucose doing right now? Am I headed for a low? And just what am I going to have for lunch?) in order to avert the long-term issues (diabetic complications). That leaves little time for considering all the larger issues—scientific, but also political and societal—that are equally important.
Luckily, there are some really smart people who spend their days doing just that. Every June, I get to be in the presence of a lot of them, at the American Diabetes Association's annual Scientific Sessions conference, held this year in Orlando, Fla. It's an amazing experience for me and my fellow Forecast editors, giving us a greater understanding of diabetes—and a bumper crop of ideas for magazine stories in the months to come.
The artificial pancreas is a perfect example. Associate Editor Erika Gebel had already done much of her reporting on the subject, including a visit to the University of Virginia to see a prototype at work, before heading to Orlando. But at the conference, she met several artificial-pancreas researchers in person and learned about their further progress. Their passion and dedication were evident—and impressive.
You can read about some of the other research that was presented in Orlando here, and here. But, of course, there was much more than we could fit into one issue: We also heard about, among other things, data on the effectiveness of continuous glucose monitoring; different perspectives on fructose and artificial sweeteners; a report on the use of cell phone movies for diabetes education; and a YMCA-based diabetes prevention program that shows big promise.
Which is to say that, while we all work hard to keep ourselves healthy, we should take comfort in the fact that there are other people out there working just as hard toward the same goal.