Genetic Engineering


Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common diseases that affect people across the world. It is a metabolic disorder that arises for a defect in the cells that are secreted from the pancreas, certain products or both. As an outcome, individuals experience the disturbances related to the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and protein in the body. Since the 1980s, the United Kingdom approved human insulin recombinant DNA, and other countries like Germany and Netherland followed this course of actions. As such, there has been a large number of sources that focus on the topic of the genetically engineered insulin. It is imperative to critique one of the currently published peer-reviewed journals that details the study on the experience of people with diabetes using animal insulin. The research was conducted by Jane Essex and Phil Coates in 2012.


The objective of the study by Jane Essex and Phil Coates was to investigate the experiences that type-1 diabetes patients have with animal insulin and ascertain the feasibility of using pumps to administer treatment (32).

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Background of the Work

The authors appear to understand how a literature review is conducted. First, it is imperative to note that the article finds relevant information based on the underlying topic. Essex and Coates outline the input and conclusions arrived at by other scholars that have performed research in the same area (32). Through the review of the existing body of literature, the authors state that there is lack of evidence on the use animal insulin in continuous subcutaneous infusion. However, it is imperative to indicate that researchers used old sources. The article was published in 2012, but the authors mentioned references from 1985, which raises a question of the reliability of the information. Nevertheless, they find a focus and gap that must be addressed and forms the basis of their research. Furthermore, from the literature review section, one can identify the relationship between the variables and the purpose (Essex and Coates 32).

Methods used

The researchers used thematic synthesis approach in which open responses from the participants were recorded and analyzed to determine the common themes. The assessment of the information gained included a small number of case studies that focused on the perceptions of patients with regards to the feasibility of using an animal insulin pump in the process of treatment. In particular, Essex and Coates have focused on capturing the observations of the participants on the quality of life, which is an important feature of glycemic control (33). In addition, they relied on the volunteer respondents, who were recruited through a request from two diabetes support group in the United Kingdom, and obtained the approval from the Research Ethics Committee of Keele University, Staffordshire (Essex and Phil Coates). Most of the participants used recombinant insulin from animals and based their decisions on personal experiences. Their demographic representativeness was confirmed through phone calls or emails except for one person who was contacted through self-help groups. The questions were related to the respondents’ insulin use duration, type of diabetes, history of applying insulin, and reasons for their choice. However, it is fundamental to understand that the authors did not indicate the size of the sample and such demographic information as age and gender of those who took part in the research (Essex and Coates 33).

Analysis of Data

The researchers received seventeen responses from the respondents who had been contacted and approved to participate in the research. Out of this number, 53% of the individuals used animal recombinant insulin through the pump. The remaining percentage reported the experience of using animal insulin before switching to the pump. Essex and Coates compared their results with what had been recorded in the literature and noticed a discrepancy in the use of animal insulin, which most of the scholars argued could be linked to the disjunction of the practice (33). Further analysis of data demonstrated that contrary to what previous researchers had indicated, a vast number of the respondents did not show any difficulties in using the pump. Moreover, Essex and Coates noted that many participants stated that they had stable blood glucose levels when they used recombinant animal insulin as compared to other types (33). At the same time, most attached the importance of the practice to their experience.


In their conclusion, the authors contend that there is no absolute reason for a patient with type-1 diabetes to avoid using recombinant animal insulin in a pump. However, they indicate that effective treatment requires knowledge as well as experience with the equipment and activity profile of insulin (Essex and Coates 35). Additionally, they show that the availability of the pump is an important factor to consider.

Comments about the Experiment and Effectiveness of the Work

The researchers identify a gap that has existed in the body of literature, which becomes the basis of the study. It is fundamental to state that the experiment is important in the clinical field because it provides useful information that improves clinicians’ practice when it comes to the treatment of type-1 diabetes. However, there is a vast number of areas that should have been improved. First, Essex and Coates do not include the information about the measures taken to allow the readers to identify them easily. In other words, the audience is left to guess what the major and minor measures taken in the study could be, which can be difficult for someone without background information on this topic. Moreover, the methods used to analyze data are not clearly indicated. There are no details about how and what categories of themes have been obtained from the recordings.

One of the biggest limitations of the study that raises a question about its credibility and reliability is related to the sample size used. The authors note that a small number of participants was used to conduct the research. As such, it can be inferred that they did not produce reliable findings. Similarly, the discussion segment is missing, which means that the article lacks a comprehensive preview of the results attained and the conclusions drawn. At the same time, the authors do not provide future directions outlining what studies should be focused on. Furthermore, they do not state the limitations that are important because readers should take them into account if the information is to be used in other investigations. Finally, the article does not provide follow-up research improvement plan. Although it can be argued that it focuses on a critical topic that could improve the clinical practice when it comes to the treatment of patients with diabetes, the above areas should be added to make the source credible and reliable.


Works Cited

Essex, Jane, and Phil Coates. “Experiences of People with Diabetes Using Animal Insulin in a Pump: A Survey.” Journal of Diabetes Nursing, vol. 15, no. 1, 2012, pp. 32-35.