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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Discovery of Insulin

A couple of years after I was diagnosed I spent a fascinating few hours reading a Canadian web-site titled “The Discovery of Insulin”. Recently I went looking for it again and was sorry to see it was no longer directly available on the web.

However, all is not lost! The marvellous way-back machine was able to find it again for me. I don't know how long such archives are kept, so I suggest you don't delay if you are interested in reading this wonderful story.

Begin here: The Discovery of Insulin

Use the site as you would any other, clicking on icons as appropriate. The way-back bar at the top is not too intrusive. I suggest you start by clicking “Enter” then click on “Introduction” before reading the rest. Click on the “Home” button at the top or your “back” button if “Home” is missing to return to the index page after you finish each section.

The dLife web-site also has a three-part video series on the discovery of insulin. I was unable to find the code to show them directly here so you will need to click on the links. The "non-intrusive" ads for Novo-Nordisk are worth wading through for the story.

The Story Of Insulin, Part 1

The Story Of Insulin, Part 2

The Story Of Insulin, Part 3

For those in the Tampa area tomorrow or in the Tyler, Tx, region next month, this exhibition may also be worth attending: Breakthrough: The Dramatic Story of the Discovery of Insulin

After reading and watching all of that information I was reminded again how remarkable this achievement was and how close it came to not occurring. There are millions of diabetics alive today as a direct consequence of the discovery; the story of Dr Lois Jovanovic's grandmother gives the perspective of those living under a death sentence back in the 1920s. As a lateral thought, one has to wonder whether it would have ever been discovered if there had been the same strict rules for using animals like dogs in lab experiments then as there are now.

At the moment I do not need insulin, but I am very grateful that it is available for that possible day in the future when I may need to.

Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia

Everything in Moderation - Except laughter


Chris Alfano said...

I am a diabetic doing research on low blood sugar. I am looking to collect some data; I would really appreciate it if you could complete this survey. Thanks! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/73PGKXN


Alan said...

Chris, I've allowed your comment for the moment but your survey has a glaring omission.

Questions 3, 4 and 5 all ask "How often do you require a product with glucose in it for low blood sugar". The lowest answer possible is 1-2 per week.

My answer would be 0-1 per year. Many other type 2s would be similar. There should be another option before 1-2 per week of "rarely" or 0-1 per week.

If you would like the comment to remain I would also appreciate advice of the purpose of your survey.

Cheers, Alan

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Faris said...

hi Alan, question, what types of topic surround TYPE 2 do you think sparks the most interest?

Alan said...

what types of topic surround TYPE 2 do you think sparks the most interest?'

1. What can I eat?

2. Testing.

3. Sweeteners. I am always surprised when I check my statistics that my Aspartame post is the third most visited page, after "Getting Started" and "Test, Review, Adjust".

Barbara said...

Hi Alan,

Just saw the three videos on the discovery of insulin. I was astounded at the nail biting drama during those early years of discovery and distribution and horrified with the ordeal that those young sufferers had to endure (Bernstein's story fits in here too). Looks like many lived long years, thank heavens. However, when I stood back and looked at the evolution of treatment, it's still discouraging that very little changed in insulin treatment for almost 50 years, until insulin became easier to administer and meters became available. I guess I would have expected us to be further along, but perhaps that's too naive. Also, when you look at the biggest breakthroughs in saving lives and relieving human misery, I always figured it was penicillin that did the most. But I'll not quibble over some well deserved accolades for the brilliance it took to isolate, purify and administer (all those frozen cattle pancreases, good god) this compound called insulin. Quite extraordinary. Banting deserves to be a household name just as Alexander Fleming deserves to be for penicillin. Thanks for finding this. I'll watch it again and again.