World’s Super Scientists – Banting, Sir Frederick Grant

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About the  ‘Sweet’  Disease  Banting  Sir Frederick  Grant

Scientist Banting Sir Frederick Grant (1891 to 1941), Canadian physician who working along with his assistant Charles H. Best obtained the pancreatic extract containing insulin from a dog in the year 1921.

It controlled diabetes in dogs. Dog is a faithful friend of man. Surgeons and research workers learn their procedures first on animals, especially dogs.

Scientist Banting Sir Frederick  worked in collaboration with J.J.R. Macleod, Scottish physiologist at the University of Toronto.

They refined the hormone and made it fit for use in humans.

Types of insulin

  • bovine insulin obtained from the pancreas of cattle.
  • porcine/ pork insulin obtained from the pancreas of pigs.
  • human insulin   prepared by recombinant  DNA technique, using the bacteria Escherichia coli.

The above insulins are injected subcutaneously.

  • insulin pump [colloquially called, ‘insulin pen’] inserted into the abdominal wall subcutaneously, and it delivers insulin automatically into the system, as per the need. It is refilled every 4 to 8 weeks via a self-sealing valve under the skin. This device obviates the monotony of daily self-administration through a syringe.

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In 1923 a department by the name “Banting and Best Department of Medical Research” was established in Toronto University and Banting was’ the first to occupy the Chair as head of the Department.

After Scientist Banting Sir Frederick  death in 1941, Best succeeded and remained in that post from 1941 to 67.

Banting and Macleod were co-recipients of the 1923 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of insulin.

Because Best was only an undergraduate at the time of discovery, he could not share the Nobel Prize with Banting. But the gesture of gratitude of Banting was commendable in that he shared his portion of the prize with Best voluntarily.

Later Banting was knighted in 1934. He died in 1941 in a plane crash.

Best Charles H(erbert) (1899 to 1978), Toronto Physiologist also discovered choline (a member of vitamin B complex group) and histaminase which is an enzyme.

He is reputed to have introduced anticoagulant therapy in the treatment of thrombosis (blood clots in blood vessels).

Book written by Best and Banting: Internal Secretions of the Pancreas (1922).

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas which governs the metabolism of sugar (carbohydrate), the absence, deficiency or inaction of which leads to diabetes (mellitus).

Facts about diabetes

  • In India one in every 12 people over the age of 30 in an urban setting have diabetes.
  • In India 15 to 16 million suffer from it.
  • Hereditary factor: If both parents are having type II diabetes, the chance of the offspring getting the disease is five times higher than that of non-diabetic parents.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to severe complications — dermal, retinal, renal, cardiovascular and neurological complications in succeeding decades.
  • 50% of impotent people in the world are diabetics.

World Diabetes Day is being observed /celebrated on June 27, every year.General Studies Question Bank CD

Advice to the diabetic : Eat less sweet to be more sweet.


acrostic Diabetes

  • Debility ushering in stealthily
  • Insulin produced in the body: inadequacy/ineffectiveness
  • All systems in the body ultimately involved
  • Beta cells in the pancreas getting destroyed
  • Early recognition mandatory.
  • Triad of polyuria, polyphagia, polydipsia
  • Excessive ketones – acidosis, as disease advances
  • Severe uncontrolled diabetes: dread of coma.

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