Google doodle celebrates 125th birthday of diabetes treatment pioneer Sir Frederick Banting
With its latest doodle, Google celebrates the 125th birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who together with Charles Best, pioneered the use of insulin in the treatment of diabetes.
The doodle features a bottle of insulin in place of the second letter 'o' in Google and also an image of the digestive tract, which was key to Banting's theory that the pancreas' secretion held the key to the treatment of diabetes. World Diabetes Day coincides with Banting's birthday on 14 November.
According to the NobelPrize.org, Banting approached Professor John Macleod at the University of Toronto, on a possible way of treating diabetes. He proposed to ligate the pancreative ducts to stop the flow of nourishment to the pancreas.
This in turn would cause the pancreas to degenerate and stop it from secreting digestive juices, enabling the extraction of an anti-diabetic secretion from the pancreas.
Although he did not really think much of his theory, Macleod gave him a laboratory with minimum equipment and 10 dogs and an assistant, medical student Charles Best. When the tests proved successful, the experiment was expanded and the extract was named 'insulin'.
During the testing process, the team discovered that there was no need to shrink the pancreas and that they could use whole fresh pancreas from adult animals.
In late 1921, biochemist Bertram Collip joined the team, to try and purify the insulin so that it can be tested on humans. To kick start treatment on humans, Banting and Best became the guinea pigs, testing the purified insulin on themselves.
In January 1922, 14-year-old boy Leonard Thomp Continue reading