Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Insulin

  • Book review: Insulin – The crooked timber

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom The title of this interesting book is taken from the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who wrote that: “Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing can ever be made.” It is applicable to the tortuous way scientific discoveries are made and is particularly pertinent to diabetes and the…

  • Maligning Macleod and “Bettering” Best: The discovery of insulin as depicted in film before Michael Bliss

    James R. Wright Jr.Calgary, Alberta, Canada In 1921, Fred Banting and Charley Best, working under the supervision of JJR Macleod, made crude pancreatic extracts from duct-ligated dog, fetal bovine, or whole adult bovine pancreata and used these to treat diabetes in depancreatized dogs. On January 23, 1922, Walter Campbell administered a pancreatic extract purified by…

  • Erik Jorpes: from Kökar to Helsingfors, Moscow, and Stockholm

    Frank A. Wollheim Lund, Sweden   Fig. 1 Jorpesgården (Jorpes farm) on Kökar where Jorpe was born. (reference 9) Johan Erik Johansson was born in 1894 in Jorpesgården in the village of Overbroad on the small, barren island of Kökar in the archipelago of Åland, a Swedish-speaking part of Finland. His father, Johan Eriksson, was…

  • A look back at insulin

    Shrestha SarafSutton Coldfield, United KingdomSanjay SarafSudarshan RamachandranBirmingham, United Kingdom As we approach the centenary of the isolation, purification, and clinical use of insulin, it is an appropriate moment to reflect on the impact of this hormone on the management of diabetes. Diabetes can be defined as a heterogeneous group of conditions resulting in high blood…

  • Research opportunities for medical students and residents

    Edward TaborWashington, DC, United States Medical residents who engage in scientific research obtain numerous advantages that may enhance their careers. They acquire analytical skills, refine their critical thinking, and may develop better future training opportunities. Unfortunately, scientific research is often not part of their training, leading to the suggestion that this should change and that…

  • The Steno Memorial Hospital of Copenhagen

    Anabelle S. Slingerland Leiden, Netherlands   Where science and human nature meet Figure 1. Niels Stenseens Hospital including apple orchard In November 2017 the Niels Steensens Hospital or Steno Memorial Hospital of Copenhagen, celebrated its 85th anniversary (Figure 1). It was named after the distinguished Danish scientist Nicolaus Steno(nis) (1638-1688), a modern-day Renaissance man, autodidact…

  • Part I: The impact of insulin on children with diabetes at Toronto Sick Kids in the 1920s

    Sarah RiedlingerDean GiustiniBrenden HurshVancouver, British Columbia, Canada Introduction Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world.1 In 2009 Canada alone had 2.35 million people with diabetes.2 Some 10% of sufferers have type 1 diabetes (T1DM), the most common form seen in children.3 Before 1922 most children with diabetes died,…

  • Part II: The impact of insulin on children with diabetes at Toronto Sick Kids in the 1920s

    Sarah RiedlingerDean GiustiniBrenden HurshVancouver, British Columbia, Canada Progress in diabetes care between 1922 and 1929 In 1923 Banting joined the staff of the Hospital for Sick Children and was placed in charge of diabetes care. He and physician Gladys Boyd developed a comprehensive program of treating children with diabetes. The program resulted in a 50%…

  • The history of diabetes and insulin

    Anabelle S. SlingerlandLeiden, Netherlands The discovery of insulin in 1921 by Banting, Best, Collip, and McLeod was heralded as the cure of diabetes (Figure 1). Press reports consigned earlier research to oblivion, suggesting that previous investigators had merely been groping in the dark. And yet this revolutionary discovery was preceded by legions of key figures…

  • A difficult conversation

    Ajanta NaiduIrvine, California, United States Fifteen years old, Jane sat in the exam room innocently denying that large doses of insulin were causing her severely low blood sugars. Living with type 1 diabetes, she had been prescribed daily insulin injections, which she herself administered at meals. Though she denied injecting more than the prescribed amount,…