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Insulin Discovery Story

The Discovery Of Insulin: The Work Of Frederick Banting And Charles Best

The Discovery Of Insulin: The Work Of Frederick Banting And Charles Best

The Preparation of Insulin (Best, C. H., and Scott, D. A. (1923) J. Biol. Chem. 57, 709–723) The story of the discovery of insulin has been well chronicled beginning with a young physician, Frederick Banting, in London, Ontario, imagining that it might be possible to isolate the internal secretions of the pancreas by ligating the pancreatic ducts to induce atrophy of the acinar cells and thereby minimize contamination of the tissue extract with digestive enzymes. Banting presented his suggestion to J. J. R. Macleod, a distinguished physiologist at the University of Toronto who provided Banting with a laboratory for the summer and some dogs for the experiments. Macleod also assigned Charles Best, a young student, to work as Banting's assistant for the summer. During the summer of 1921, Banting and Best made remarkable progress, and by fall they had isolated material from pancreas extracts that dramatically prolonged the lives of dogs made diabetic by removal of the pancreas. In the winter of 1922, Banting and Best treated their first human patient, a young boy, who's life was saved by the treatment. This was a stunning accomplishment. Consider that from the start of the research in the summer of 1921 to treating a human patient successfully in the winter of 1922, the pace, especially by current standards for clinical treatments, was remarkable. With that achievement, Macleod, who had been initially unenthusiastic about the work, assigned his entire laboratory to the insulin project. He also enlisted the Eli Lilly Company to aid in the large scale, commercial preparation of insulin although the University of Toronto received the patent for insulin production. By 1923, insulin was available in quantities adequate for relatively widespread treatment of diabetes. Although Continue reading >>

"the Discovery Of Insulin: A Miracle Drug, A Nobel Prize Controversy, And The Story Of Elizabeth Hughes"

Venue Cost The discovery and development of insulin saw Frederick Banting, a young doctor with no research experience, persuade a veteran Toronto researcher and doctor JJR MacLeod, to explore his unique idea regarding diabetes as a summer project in a University of Toronto laboratory. The lecture discusses the details of Banting and Best's subsequent strife-filled collaboration and the important role of a small American drug manufacturer named Eli Lilly, juxtaposed with the story of Elizabeth Hughes. Elizabeth Hughes was diagnosed with diabetes in 1919 at the age of twelve. At that time, the best therapy for diabetes was Frederick Allen's starvation treatment, in which patients were put on a strict dietary regime-keeping them on a knife's edge between sugar poisoning and outright starvation. Allen's severe dietary restrictions were no cure for diabetes, but merely a stopgap measure, with the hope that it would enable patients to survive long enough for a diabetes cure to be found. Elizabeth Hughes was one of Allen's most famous patients, and one of the first for whom the starvation gamble paid off when insulin treatments began to be tested on human patients in 1922. Arthur Ainsberg is a writer and a Wall Street executive. A veteran of the financial services industry, Mr. Ainsberg has served in senior management and consulting roles at Oppenheimer, Odyssey Partners, and Morgan Stanley. Mr. Ainsberg is a scholar on the Endurance, the early 20th century expedition to Antarctica by Sir Ernest Shackleton. In 2008, he published Shackleton: Leadership Lessons from Antarctica, and speaks and lectures frequently on the lessons of Shackleton's nearly twenty-two months at sea. Mr. Ainsberg was diagnosed in 1975 at the age of twenty-eight with Hodgkin's Disease, a time when doctors Continue reading >>

Insulin: Discovery And Controversy

Insulin: Discovery And Controversy

During the first two decades of the 20th century, several investigators prepared extracts of pancreas that were often successful in lowering blood sugar and reducing glycosuria in test animals. However, they were unable to remove impurities, and toxic reactions prevented its use in humans with diabetes. In the spring of 1921, Frederick G. Banting, a young Ontario orthopedic surgeon, was given laboratory space by J.J.R. Macleod, the head of physiology at the University of Toronto, to investigate the function of the pancreatic islets. A student assistant, Charles Best, and an allotment of dogs were provided to test Banting’s hypothesis that ligation of the pancreatic ducts before extraction of the pancreas, destroys the enzyme-secreting parts, whereas the islets of Langerhans, which were believed to produce an internal secretion regulating sugar metabolism, remained intact. He believed that earlier failures were attributable to the destructive action of trypsin. The name “insuline” had been introduced in 1909 for this hypothetic substance. Their experiments produced an extract of pancreas that reduced the hyperglycemia and glycosuria in dogs made diabetic by the removal of their pancreases. They next developed a procedure for extraction from the entire pancreas without the need for duct ligation. This extract, now made from whole beef pancreas, was successful for treating humans with diabetes. Facilitating their success was a development in clinical chemistry that allowed blood sugar to be frequently and accurately determined in small volumes of blood. Success with purification was largely the work of J.B. Collip. Yield and standardization were improved by cooperation with Eli Lilly and Company. When the Nobel Prize was awarded to Banting and Macleod for the discove Continue reading >>

The Story Of Insulin Discovery

The Story Of Insulin Discovery

Abstract Many researchers had tried to isolate insulin from animal pancreas, but Frederick Banting, a young surgeon, and Charles Best, a medical student, were the ones that succeeded. They both worked hard in very difficult conditions in the late 1921 and early 1922 until final success. They encountered problems with the impurities of their extract that was causing inflammations, but J. Collip, their late biochemist collaborator, worked many hours and was soon able to prepare cleaner insulin, free from impurities. This extract was administered successfully to L. Thomson, a ketotic young diabetic patient, on 23 January 1922. Following this, Eli Lilly & Co of USA started the commercial production of insulin, soon followed by the Danish factories Nordisc and NOVO as well as the British Wellcome. Nicolae Paulescu who was professor of Physiology in Bucharest, was also quite close to the discovery of insulin but the researchers in Toronto were faster and more efficient. Banting and Macleod won the Nobel price, which Banting shared with Best and Macleod with J. Collip. The contribution of Paulescu in insulin discovery was recognized after his death. Continue reading >>

Insulin: A Story Of Innovation

Insulin: A Story Of Innovation

Ninety-four years of development, and the future of insulin therapy Fourteen-year-old Leonard Thompson was gravely ill, slipping in and out of a coma at Toronto General Hospital. He’d been diagnosed with diabetes three years earlier, and despite receiving the best treatment available, his condition had steadily worsened. Doctors offered a risky proposition: a promising but experimental drug they’d been developing but hadn’t yet used in people. The year was 1922. One of the doctors was Sir Frederick Grant Banting, and the drug, of course, was insulin. That day in 1922, Leonard became the first person to receive insulin. But instead of lowering his blood sugar, it caused an allergic reaction that sent Leonard’s doctors back to the lab, where they worked almost around the clock to improve the formulation. Almost two weeks later, they returned to Leonard’s bed with a new syringe: insulin 2.0. With this version, Leonard’s symptoms began to disappear and he regained his health. Insulin was a true breakthrough in diabetes care, and the reworking that made it an initial success set the stage for innovation that would continue throughout the next century. Animal-derived extracts would give way to ultrapure biosynthetic human insulins. Insulin concentration and delivery tools would be standardized to ensure accurate dosing. Insulin analogs with varying speed and duration of action would enable fine-tuning of glucose management. Pumps, pens and inhalers would be developed to customize insulin administration. Three Nobel Prizes would be awarded to scientists for their work with insulin, including Banting, whose birthday November 14 is now celebrated as World Diabetes Day. Banting’s spirit of ingenuity is alive and well at JDRF today, inspiring us to devise even better Continue reading >>

Author’s Night:

Author’s Night: "the Discovery Of Insulin: A Miracle Drug, A Nobel Prize Controversy, And The Story Of Elizabeth Hughes"

Venue The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029 Cost Free, but advance registration is required. Sponsors The Academy Fellows Office and Academy Library The discovery and development of insulin saw Frederick Banting, a young doctor with no research experience, persuade a veteran Toronto researcher and doctor JJR MacLeod, to explore his unique idea regarding diabetes as a summer project in a University of Toronto laboratory. The lecture discusses the details of Banting and Best's subsequent strife-filled collaboration and the important role of a small American drug manufacturer named Eli Lilly, juxtaposed with the story of Elizabeth Hughes. Elizabeth Hughes was diagnosed with diabetes in 1919 at the age of twelve. At that time, the best therapy for diabetes was Frederick Allen's starvation treatment, in which patients were put on a strict dietary regime-keeping them on a knife's edge between sugar poisoning and outright starvation. Allen's severe dietary restrictions were no cure for diabetes, but merely a stopgap measure, with the hope that it would enable patients to survive long enough for a diabetes cure to be found. Elizabeth Hughes was one of Allen's most famous patients, and one of the first for whom the starvation gamble paid off when insulin treatments began to be tested on human patients in 1922. Arthur Ainsberg is a writer and a Wall Street executive. A veteran of the financial services industry, Mr. Ainsberg has served in senior management and consulting roles at Oppenheimer, Odyssey Partners, and Morgan Stanley. Mr. Ainsberg is a scholar on the Endurance, the early 20th century expedition to Antarctica by Sir Ernest Shackleton. In 2008, he published Shackleton: Leadership Lessons from Antarctica, and speaks and l Continue reading >>

The Unspeakably Wonderful Girl Who Grew Up (thanks To Insulin)

The Unspeakably Wonderful Girl Who Grew Up (thanks To Insulin)

History remembers Elizabeth Hughes as one of the first people ever to be treated with insulin back in the 1920s -- a landmark time when the discovery of this magic liquid suddenly meant that a diagnosis was no longer a guaranteed death sentence. But long after those early days when she first received insulin as a girl, she grew up and became Elizabeth Hughes Gossett. She was largely lost to history due to her own conscious efforts to keep private; she didn't want even basic details of her diabetes to be known outside of her immediate family and medical care team. As fate would have it, life led her to Southeast Michigan, actually to my local area of Metro Detroit, where she settled in to an existence that now has almost eerie historic connections for me personally. All of this came to light recently with banter (not Banting) about a new film under production that will tell the story of Elizabeth Hughes and the discovery of insulin. The film is at least a year out from completion, but we've learned that by focusing on Elizabeth and the researchers at work, it takes an interesting POV on this breakthrough that so many have chronicled in print and film already. Please follow our journey of discovery on this... Unspeakably Wonderful Film Two filmmakers based in England are piecing the story together in a fresh way. The film is called Unspeakably Wonderful, a name that actually came from a phrase used in a letter that young Elizabeth Hughes wrote to her mother about the early insulin treatments she received. She was 11 years old when diagnosed in 1919, and became one of the first ever to receive insulin from Dr. Fredrick Banting in 1922. Her father was Charles Evans Hughes, who served in many high-ranking roles including as New York governor, Secretary of State and a justice Continue reading >>

The History Of A Wonderful Thing We Call Insulin

The History Of A Wonderful Thing We Call Insulin

Since the dawn of time, we have searched for ways to make life easier for us. The modern age has given us some amazing technological advances—what we would do without the internet, our iPhones or high-speed travel? For many people, surviving life without these things sounds rough. However, if you have diabetes, no doubt you’re also a big fan of one particular 20th-century discovery: insulin. Before insulin was discovered in 1921, people with diabetes didn’t live for long; there wasn’t much doctors could do for them. The most effective treatment was to put patients with diabetes on very strict diets with minimal carbohydrate intake. This could buy patients a few extra years but couldn’t save them. Harsh diets (some prescribed as little as 450 calories a day!) sometimes even caused patients to die of starvation. So how did this wonderful breakthrough blossom? Let’s travel back a little more than 100 years ago.… In 1889, two German researchers, Oskar Minkowski and Joseph von Mering, found that when the pancreas gland was removed from dogs, the animals developed symptoms of diabetes and died soon afterward. This led to the idea that the pancreas was the site where “pancreatic substances” (insulin) were produced. Later experimenters narrowed this search to the islets of Langerhans (a fancy name for clusters of specialized cells in the pancreas). In 1910, Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Shafer suggested only one chemical was missing from the pancreas in people with diabetes. He decided to call this chemical insulin, which comes for the Latin word insula, meaning “island.” So what happened next? Something truly miraculous. In 1921, a young surgeon named Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best figured out how to remove insulin from a dog’s pancreas. S Continue reading >>

Insulin: The Canadian Discovery That Has Saved Millions Of Lives

Insulin: The Canadian Discovery That Has Saved Millions Of Lives

Insulin forever changed what it meant to be diagnosed with diabetes. André Picard looks at one of medicine's most significant advances, and the researchers – two recognized with a Nobel Prize and two more overlooked – who chose to never make a profit from their miracle drug As part of the 150th anniversary of Canada's confederation, The Globe and Mail looks at the Canadians, products and discoveries that changed the world. When he was admitted to Toronto General Hospital in December, 1921, Leonard Thompson, a 14-year-old with juvenile diabetes, was barely clinging to life. He weighed just 65 pounds and despite a starvation diet of 450 calories a day – the only treatment available at the time – his blood glucose was dangerously high. On Jan. 22, 1922, Leonard was injected with an experimental treatment called isletin. The impact was negligible. But, 12 days later, researchers tried again. After the injection, Leonard's blood glucose fell dramatically, to 6.7 millimoles per litre from 28.9 mmol/L. He was discharged from hospital and began to eat more and gain weight. Within days, six other desperately ill Toronto children received a similar injection, with the same miraculous results. As long as they took an injection daily, their symptoms were largely kept in check. That drug, renamed insulin, forever changed the lives of people with diabetes. It is one of the great medical discoveries of all times, a Canadian innovation that has saved millions of lives. Before insulin, children with juvenile diabetes (now called Type 1) lived only 1.4 years on average after diagnosis. Adults fared only slightly better: One in five lived 10 years after diagnosis, but with severe complications such as blindness, kidney failure, stroke, heart attack and the necessity to amputate l Continue reading >>

Insulin - A Life-saving Discovery

Insulin - A Life-saving Discovery

In the early 20th century, people who had diabetes would usually die within a few years following their diagnosis. Dr. Frederick Banting - a young Canadian physician with not much of a medical practice and hardly any experience at all - wanted to change that pattern. Worried about his own future, and his lack of patients, Banting had an idea during the middle of the night. While he was working-up a lecture he'd been asked to give, the twenty-eight-year-old doctor wrote these misspelled words on a piece of paper: Diabetus. Ligate pancreatic ducts of dog. Keep dogs alive till acini degenerate leaving Islets. Try to isolate the internal secretion of these to relieve glucosurea. (Banting's note, written on 31 October 1920, quoted by Stephen Eaton Hume in Frederick Banting: Hero, Healer, Artist at page 8.) Banting's intuition would soon lead to a monumental medical breakthrough. Expanding on the work of earlier scientists, the young doctor believed he might have discovered a way which could also treat - not just diagnose - the "sugar disease." He shared his thoughts with Dr. John J.R. Macleod (then head of physiology at the University of Toronto). On the 8th of March, 1921, Banting asked Macleod for lab space to further research his idea. What prior research had led Banting to his breakthrough? We learn the answer to that question from "A Science Odyssey," at PBS: Late in the nineteenth century, scientists had realized there was a connection between the pancreas and diabetes. The connection was further narrowed down to the islets of Langerhans, a part of the pancreas. From 1910 to 1920, Oscar Minkowski and others tried unsuccessfully to find and extract the active ingredient from the islets of Langerhans. While reading a paper on the subject in 1920, Banting had an inspirati Continue reading >>

The Incredible History Of Insulin, A Drug That Was Discovered Almost A Century Ago

The Incredible History Of Insulin, A Drug That Was Discovered Almost A Century Ago

An insulin pump.Alden Chadwick/Flickr Diabetes, a group of conditions in which the body can't properly regulate blood sugar, affects roughly 30 million people in the US. And for many people living with diabetes — including the 1.25 million people in the US who have Type 1 diabetes — injecting insulin is part of the daily routine. Insulin, a hormone that healthy bodies produce, has been used to treat diabetes for almost a century, though it's gone through some modifications. In the past decade, the list prices of insulin have risen about 300%. This has drawn criticism from patients having to pay the high cost as well as from political figures such as Senator Bernie Sanders, who went after insulin drugmakers this month over their exorbitant prices. Here's the story of how the critical diabetes medicine became what it is today. Insulin is an integral part of the human body. It's a hormone that, in most people, is produced in the pancreas to help regulate our blood sugar levels. For those living with Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn't make any insulin, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise too high after a carbohydrate-rich meal, or fall dramatically unexpectedly. Back in the 1920s, researchers figured out that the pancreas was an important part of what was making diabetics so sick and got to work figuring out if they could make a treatment for them. Pictured here is an inflamed pancreas alongside the duodenum to its right, and the spleen to its left, in a rhesus monkey. Dr. Frederick Banting, a Toronto-based surgeon, along with medical student Charles Best, started by testing out what happens when you remove a dog's pancreas. When they did, the dog developed diabetes. Next, they found that if you inject insulin back into the dog, it went back to normal. Dr. Fre Continue reading >>

Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?

Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?

I just wrote an answer to this question about 5 minutes ago and will answer it again because it is so very important for you and for millions of other people. The answer to your question is yes. From my personal experience Type 2 Diabetes can be reversed. In March of 2017 I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. It really scared me. My father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at 60 and I watched him have to inject insulin 2 times a day. His body still deteriorated due to the diabetes. I did not want to end up like that. I was a chocoholic and ate huge portions. I was too heavy for my height and did not get enough exercise. I immediately got on the internet and started researching for cures for Type II Diabetes. I read all the information at the American Diabetes Association website and was thoroughly depressed. I was being told that I had a progressive disease with no cure that would last the rest of my life and finally cause my death. I learned that I would have to take progressively stronger medications to control my diabetes and BG, (Blood glucose levels). I decided that this path was not for me. I knew there had to be a cure for this terrible disease even if all these doctors and pharmaceutical companies were saying that there is no cure. I read everything I could find on T2 Diabetes. Causes, treatments, reversal and cure. I decided that changing my diet drastically to a low carb high fat diet, LCHF, was the way to go. I found a great deal of good information at Diet Doctor - Making low carb simple. So I did it. I absolutely changed my diet completely from that day. It was very difficult. My body was craving carbohydrates, especially sweets. I had physical flu symptoms from the body adjusting to this new diet. I used meditation and mindful eating to get through those Continue reading >>

Frederick Banting

Frederick Banting

Sir Frederick Grant Banting KBE MC FRS FRSC[1] (November 14, 1891 – February 21, 1941) was a Canadian medical scientist, physician, painter, and Nobel laureate noted as the co-discoverer of insulin and its therapeutic potential.[2] In 1923 Banting and John James Rickard Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine.[3] Banting shared the award money with his colleague, Dr. Charles Best. As of November 2016, Banting, who received the Nobel Prize at age 32, remains the youngest Nobel laureate in the area of Physiology/Medicine.[4] In 1923 the Government of Canada granted Banting a lifetime annuity to continue his work. In 1934 he was knighted by King George V. Early years[edit] View of the Banting farm. Site preserved under the Ontario Heritage Act, with a plaque from the Federal Government recognizing Banting. Frederick Banting was born on November 14, 1891, in a farm house near Alliston, Ontario.[5] The youngest of five children of William Thompson Banting and Margaret Grant,[6] he attended public high schools in Alliston. In 1910, he started at Victoria College, part of the University of Toronto, in the General Arts program. After failing his first year, he petitioned to join the medical program in 1912 and was accepted. He began medical school in September 1912.[7]:28–29 In 1914, he attempted to enter the army on August 5, and then again in October, but was refused due to poor eyesight.[7]:33–34 Banting successfully joined the army in 1915 and spent the summer training before returning to school. His class was fast-tracked to get more doctors into the war and so he graduated in December 1916 and reported for military duty the next day.[7]:36–37 He was wounded at the Battle of Cambrai in 1918. Despite his injuries, he helped other wounded men for sixteen hours, Continue reading >>

Inside The Story: The Discovery Of Insulin

Inside The Story: The Discovery Of Insulin

The Intrigue Behind the Discovery and Early Use of Insulin! By Dace Trence, MD, FACE So much of what we are told about discoveries is a simplified version of what really happens in the scientific world. Scientists are human, just like the rest of us, and the path to discovery can be a very interesting story that shows just how human scientists are. Such a story lies behind the discovery of insulin and its’ travels to market—a drug that we all tend to take for granted in the world of diabetes! Elizabeth Hughes was a cheerful, pretty little girl who grew up in the early 1900s. She had straight brown hair and a large interest in birds. She was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 11. Doctors started her on the Dr. Frederick Allen diet, the only treatment for diabetes mellitus type 1 at that time. The diet was basically a starvation diet. She started to lose weight and got to 65 pounds, then to 52 pounds, then to only 45 pounds after a dangerous episode of diarrhea. And she was 5 feet tall! She had survived on the diet for three years—far longer than her doctors had predicted—but she was getting sicker. Then her desperate mother heard some incredible news: insulin was tested in Canadian dogs with diabetes and they recovered from near death! Who was the scientist who tested insulin in the dogs? It was Frederick Banting, a very awkward Ontario farm boy. He graduated from medical school as an average student and began working in a laboratory at the University of Toronto. During a very hot summer in 1921, Banting and his assistant Charles Best experimented on diabetic dogs, with dismal results. But when they got to dog number 92, a yellow collie, she jumped off the table after an injection of pancreas extract and began to wag her tail. Dr. Banting’s mentor and lab dir Continue reading >>

The Tumultuous Discovery Of Insulin: Finally, Hidden Story Is Told

The Tumultuous Discovery Of Insulin: Finally, Hidden Story Is Told

TORONTO— The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto 60 years ago ranks with the greatest moments in the history of medicine. For the first time, diabetic men and women, many of whom were until then doomed to an ineffectual starvation diet followed by coma and death within a year or two, were offered a treatment that restored them, sometimes in just a few weeks, to rosy-cheeked health. But no comprehensive, accurate and detailed account of the course of events that led to so astonishing a leap forward in the treatment of disease has ever appeared - neither at Toronto nor anywhere else. Some relevant documents were ignored by scholars; others were suppressed by the University of Toronto to avoid embarrassment to surviving researchers. But with the death of the last principal in 1978, historical research could begin without impediment. Michael Bliss, a historian at the university, believes he has now pulled the story together from partial accounts, published and unpublished, and by delving into such hitherto unexplored resources as the Nobel Prize archives at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Professor Bliss's account, ''The Discovery of Insulin,'' to be published this month in Canada by McClelland & Stewart, and next month in this country by the University of Chicago Press, shows to an extent previously unmatched the full dimensions of the feuding and bickering, the jockeying for position and reward, the personal flaws and weaknesses, as well as strengths, of the all-too-human researchers whose achievement did so much for so many. As [email protected]@R. Macleod, one of the two men who shared a Nobel Prize for insulin in 1923, once said: ''If every discovery entails as much squabbling over priority, etc., as this one has, it will put the job of trying to make them o Continue reading >>

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