Being diagnosed with diabetes was once considered a death sentence. Once people learned they had the disease, they usually died within a few months or a few years if patients followed extreme diets. This dire situation changed after Dr. Frederick Banting and his assistant, Charles Best, discovered how to isolate insulin on July 27, 1921.
Insulin is produced in the organ called the pancreas. It is a necessary hormone required by our bodies to regulate the sugar levels in our blood. People with diabetes are unable to produce insulin or adequate amounts of insulin. Without insulin, nutrients cannot be correctly distributed to vital organs throughout the body. As a result, these organs slowly shut down until the body dies. Therefore, it is essential that diabetic people regularly receive insulin shots to survive.
At the turn of the 20th century, scientists first discovered that the pancreas was responsible for producing insulin. In tests, animals that had their pancreas removed showed common symptoms of diabetes. After this discovery, the question then became how to isolate insulin from the pancreas and how to administer it to patients with diabetes.
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In 1921, Dr. Banting and Best figured out how to extract insulin from a dog’s pancreas. They later used the insulin to treat another dog with diabetes successfully. In 1922, a more refined form of insulin was isolated from the pancreases of cattle. This insulin was then administered as shots to people suffering from diabetes. The method pioneered by Dr. Banting and Best benefits millions of people with diabetes. Dr. Banting was therefore awarded a Nobel Prize at age 32, remaining the youngest winner in the field.
What Did You Learn?
1. What is the function of insulin for our bodies?
2. How do people suffering from diabetes receive insulin using Dr. Banting and Best’s method?
1. It regulates the sugar levels in our blood.
2. They receive insulin as shots / Insulin is administered as shots to them.
Word in Use
1. diagnose vt. 診斷
be diagnosed with + 疾病 被診斷有某疾病
Jim was diagnosed with cancer, but he stays positive and will never give up easily.
2. isolate vt. 使分開／隔離
isolate A from B 將A與B分開／隔離
A high wall isolates the castle from other buildings.
3. regulate vt. 調節
The machine regulates the temperature to provide an ideal environment for the fish.
4. nutrient n. 養分
Good soil provides nutrients for plants.
5. distribute vt. 分發，分配
distribute A to B 將A分發給B
The assistant distributed the copies of the document to the participants.
1. at the turn of the century 世紀交接的時期
Queen Victoria died at the turn of the century.
2. be responsible for... 負責…
Gary is responsible for dealing with customer complaints in his company.
3. suffer from... 罹患…疾病；受…之苦
Scott suffers from insomnia because of the great deal of pressure he has at work.
＊insomnia n. 失眠
4. be awarded sth 獲頒某物
The winner of the speech contest will be awarded a scholarship.
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