Why The Discovery of Insulin is a Defining Moment in Canadian History

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During the year 1889, two researchers, Joseph Von Mering and Oskar Minkowski, had discovered the disease that is known today as diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which the insulin levels (a hormone produced in unique cells called the islets of Langerhans found in the pancreas) in the bloodstream are irregular and therefore affect the way the body uses sugars, as well as other nutrients. Up until the 1920’s, it was known that being diagnosed with diabetes was a death sentence which usually affected “children and adults under 30.” Those who were diagnosed were usually very hungry and thirsty, which are two of the symptoms associated with diabetes. However, no matter how much they ate, their bodies wouldn’t be able to use the nutrients due…show more content…
While doing so, he used his interest and knowledge form previous work he had completed on the pancreas and diabetes to help those suffering from diabetes. While serving as a lieutenant in the Canadian Medical Corps in World War One, Banting was exposed to death and suffering every day and was even wounded during one of the battles. This encouraged and motivated Banting to use his interest and understanding in the pancreas to help those who suffered from diabetes. His ultimate goal was to find a way to treat diabetes and he was very determined to aid those suffering from this disease. He also worked at the University of Western Ontario, the Hospital for Sick Children, and in his privately owned surgical practice which showed his commitment to assisting and caring for those in need. He had quit his job so that he could research and experiment with various ways of isolating insulin in dogs. When he finally isolated the hormone, he did not test it on a diabetic patient. Instead, Banting had first tested it on himself in order to make sure that the patient would not react to it and would have to go through any more pain. After the discovery in 1922, Banting was awarded a gold medal and his M.D. degree which was followed by being chosen as a senior teacher at the University of Toronto. In 1923, Banting, as well as John J.R. MacLeod, was the first Canadian who was awarded the Nobel Prize in

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