Although type 2 diabetes is often though of as an illness in which sugar levels are critical, it is also clear that the metabolism of fats is altered in the disease. Indeed, both facts and sugars may conspire together to exacerbate the condition (in a process known as "lipotoxicity" or "glucolipotoxicity"). Our research focuses on the effects of fats on the insulin - producing beta - cells to try and understand whether there are both "good" and "bad" types of fat. We have found that certain saturated fats (e.g. palmitic acid) causes detrimental effects but that these are opposed by some unsaturates. Our team is currently trying to understand what causes these differences and how they might be harnessed to protect the beta - cell in the face of an otherwise toxic attack.