A diabetes cure is a step closer after scientists discovered a way to regulate blood sugar using the liver.
But now scientists claim a cure could be developed after cells in the liver were converted to insulin producers in research on mice.
They believe the process, described in the journal Developmental Cell, could one day lead to a permanent one-off cure for the disease.
Dr Lawrence Chan and his team at the the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, injected a gene into mice which converted stem cells in the liver to replace those damaged in the pancreas.
They discovered that the blood sugar of the mice returned to normal within a few weeks and remained that way for the rest of the animal's natural life.
Liver cells have been coverted to insulin producers before but this is the first time scientists have understood the technique and believe eventually could lead to treatment for humans.