Sugar, dogs, cows, and Insulin - The Story of How Diabetes Stopped Being Deadly

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Before the discovery of insulin, diabetes was a life-threatening and untreatable illness. It was caused by very high blood sugar levels and many children died from it. In 1922, two scientists, Frederick Banting and Charles Best, treated a boy suffering from diabetes with special extracts from a cow’s pancreas. The pancreas is an organ found near the stomach. The treatment lowered the boy’s blood sugar to normal levels due to a chemical substance from the pancreas. This substance was later named insulin. In this article you will read about diabetes and insulin. You will see that the final discovery of insulin built on the work of many scientists before Banting and Best. It is a great story showing how the skills and determination of different people together led to a ground-breaking discovery. In 1978, human insulin was made artificially from bacteria and today it continues to save millions of lives.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers for young minds
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2021

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