Frederick Grant Banting
Diabetes mellitus is a serious disease and is currently taking the epidemic's scope. It's about type 2 diabetes. According to WHO, there are more than 70 million people on Earth who suffer from this disease. To date, this pathology is considered one of the most mysterious and amazing. Whether you work or relax, be sad or rejoice, be sick or happy - diabetes secretly destroys your body. We are talking about the defeat of primarily the vessels, leading ultimately to myocardial infarction and stroke.
The next goal, which destroys its destructive impact of diabetes, is the eyes: diabetic retinopathy causes a partial or total loss of vision. On the "conscience" of diabetes and the development of long-healing ulcers, and gangrene of the feet, and this, unfortunately, is not the whole "bouquet." Complications - early atherosclerosis, arterial hypertension, coronary insufficiency, obliterating endarteritis, diseases of the respiratory system, skin, liver and biliary tract diseases, peripheral nerves (polyneuritis, neuralgia, sciatica). A terrible complication is hyperglycaemic and hypoglycemic coma.
Disease of diabetes was known in ancient times. The founder of the medical system in India, Sushruta (VI century BC), compiled a manual from 6 books of "sushruta-Sanhita", in which he gave a description of the medicine. Among the 760 medicines, mainly of vegetable origin, mentioned is the sweet substance recommended for the treatment of patients with diabetes mellitus.
The Greek physician Arethea of Cappadocia (I-II century AD) is attributed to the introduction into the medical lexicon of the word "diabetes" (from the Greek "flow through"), as well as a very accurate description of this disease, which he called "remelting the flesh and members in urine. " Most likely, giving the name of the disease (although without the definition of "sugar"), it was based on the main sign of the disease - diabetes, attributed to those times of kidney weakness. Knowledge of the manifestation of the disease, however, did not solve the problem of treatment: the doctors' attempts to achieve a favorable course of the disease were unsuccessful, and therefore the diagnosis of "diabetes" was equivalent to a death sentence.
In Europe, the diagnosis of "diabetes mellitus" was established in the XVII century. The famous English anatomist and physician Thomas Willis (Willis, 1621-1675) aspired to reach his senses with his own mind. It was he who first linked the development of diabetes with an elevated level of sugar in the body. The instrument for this was his own language, one of the most reliable and sensitive organs. It must be said that this method, called organoleptic, faithfully served in the laboratories of all countries of the world until the 20th century, until chemical research came to replace it. In 1664, having tasted the urine of diabetics, Willis was convinced that she was sweet. Unfortunately, as it often happens, no one paid due
attention to his discovery. And only 100 years later, another English doctor, P. Dobson, found that the sugar of the diabetic patients contained glucose.
There were questions: what is the reason for the increase in the sugar level in diabetes and where is the controller that ceases to follow the concentration of glucose in the body? At the end of the XVIII - beginning of the XIX century, work began to appear, indicating that diabetes mellitus is somehow associated with pancreatic disease. However, direct experimental proof was received only in 1889. Has helped, as often happens, his Majesty the case.
The German histologist and anatomist P. Langerhans in 1869 discovered special cells in the pancreas. His compatriot endocrinologist J. Mehring and physiologist O. Minkowski established in 1889 that the removal of this gland causes diabetes. This happened when they were studying the role of the pancreas in the process of digestion. Imagine their surprise when one morning, when they came to work and looked into the operating room, where the dog was left in the evening, and the pancreas was removed the day before, the experimenters saw that it was all covered with flies. After examining the animal, they realized that flies attracted sugar, in excess of the dog contained in the urine. Having undertaken, now special, studies, they in 1889 convincingly showed that dogs with removed pancreas develop all the signs of diabetes mellitus leading to their imminent death.
In 1901 the Russian researcher L.V. Sobolev published a work ("To the morphology of the pancreas in the ligation of its duct in diabetes and some other conditions"), from which it followed how to solve the problem of insidious disease. Being seriously ill, Sobolev could not bring the matter to the end during his short life (he lived a little over 40 years).
In 1916, the English physiologist E. Charpy-Schaefer suggested that the groups of glandular cells lying in the pancreas in the form of islets, named Langerhans, produce a hormone regulating the level of sugar in the blood. Charpy-Schaefer proposed to name the substance insulin (from the Latin insula - islet).
It is the work of L.V. Sobolev and E. Sharpi-Shefera were the guiding thread that led Bunting to success.
Canadian scientist Frederick Grant Banting (Frederick Grant Banting) was born November 14, 1891 in Alliston, Ontario (Canada) in a farm family. In the friendly family of William Thompson and Margaret (Grant) Banting Frederic was the fifth child. After graduation at the behest of his parents, Frederick entered the Theological Faculty of the University of Toronto in 1912.
Since the close friend and sister of Bunting died from diabetes, he was persistently pursued by the idea of finding a means of fighting this terrible disease. And now Banting takes a difficult decision for himself: to leave the theological faculty and go to medical school. In 1916, after receiving a Bachelor of Medicine degree, he went to war with the Canadian Medical Corps. For two years Banting served as a military surgeon in England, and then in France. In the Battle of Cambrai in 1918, he was seriously wounded. I almost lost my hand. He was treated for a long time. In 1919, for his heroism, he was awarded a military cross. After treatment at a London hospital, he returned to Canada, where he soon began to practice medicine in London (Ontario). At the same time, Banting studies orthopedics. During 1919-1920 he worked in one of the children's city hospitals in Toronto. In June 1920, he was invited to the position of assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario, where he taught orthopedics. From 1921 to 1922, Banting lectured on pharmacology at the University of Toronto.
In 1922, at the same university, he defended his doctoral dissertation and was awarded a gold medal. The theme of the thesis was a fatal disease - diabetes
mellitus, with which he vowed to settle scores while still a student. Studies began in October 1920, when Bunting read an article by M. Barron, which described the blockade of the pancreatic duct with gallstones and the development of atrophy of the acinous cells. Banting turned to the head of the department, John MacLeod, who was considered the leading diabetes specialist, for help with the experiments. But in the beginning he was refused - the professor did not take seriously the project of the beginning scientist.
On his small savings and on the money earned by his assistant, medical student Charles Best, for taking part in baseball competitions, Banting bought dogs and, despite the prohibition of Professor John MacLeod from using his laboratory, set up during his departure experiments to remove them pancreas, causing a sugar disease. July 27, 1921 after intense experiments, he introduced such animals taken from healthy dogs extract pancreas - insulin, and the concentration of sugar in the blood of sick dogs quickly declined. Frederick Bunting and Charles Best of the pancreas isolated an extract with a high biological activity, which has the ability to reduce blood sugar levels. So, in 1921, based on previous studies, they received in their pure form the hormone of the Langergans' islets - insulin. In the same year, scientists reported the results of their research at the meeting of the Physiological Journal Club of the University of Toronto, and in December they addressed members of the American Physiological Society in New Haven.
Professor MacLeod, convinced of the prospects for research, used all the possibilities of his department to receive and purify insulin. In December 1921, he attracted biochemist D.B. Collina, who very quickly put the process on stream. In January 1922, Banting and Best tested the effect of the new drug, they introduced to themselves 10 conventional units of a new medicine. At this time, a 14-year-old boy was hospitalized in a diabetic coma. Only the use of insulin saved him from imminent death. The next person who was brought back to life by Dr. Banting was his friend - Gilkrist's doctor, who became his
faithful assistant. The number of cured patients, doomed to death, grew exponentially.
Toronto University appreciated the noble deed of Professor Bunting, who transferred all rights to insulin to the university, and in 1922 awarded him "Reeve Prize". A year later, the Canadian Parliament appointed him a lifetime annual rent of $ 7,500. And the following year, Banting, along with McLeod, became Nobel laureates. Part of his award Banting shared with Best, saying at the same time that without him "there would be no discovery." Such a rapid international recognition of the discovery is due to the fact that until 1921, diabetes was an incurable disease due to the lack of effective medications.
In 1924, Bunting married Marion Robertson, and four years later they had a son William. In 1928, Banting lectured in Edinburgh. He was elected a member of many medical academies and societies in his country and abroad. In 1932 Banting divorced and after 5 years married Henrietta Bell.
In the UK in 1934 he was knighted and elected a member of the Royal Society of London. Sir Banting was fond of painting and once with a group of artists went to the Arctic Circle in a creative expedition, which was funded by the Canadian government.
At the beginning of World War II, Sir Banting voluntarily joined the Canadian army as a liaison officer. He had communication between the British and Canadian medical services. February 21, 1941 Banting was killed in an accident plane in Newfoundland. The head of the chair in Toronto was replaced by Macleod.
In 1954, English biochemist F. Senger deciphered the chemical structure of insulin and literally four years later became the next Nobel laureate. In the early 60's, two groups of researchers - in the USA and Germany - synthesized insulin in the laboratory at once.