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BiologyBy Joe Burgett -

 

The Greatest Discoveries that Changed Science Forever
[Image via DREAMSTIME / MCT]

Insulin

  • Year(s) Officially Discovered: Roughly Late 1880s
  • Discovery Put Into Action: Between 1920 to 1925
  • Team/Person Behind The Discovery: Dr. Oscar Minkowski, Dr. Josef von Mering, University of Toronto Researchers

The Discovery of insulin happened by a complete accident. This happened when two doctors at the University of Strasbourg were trying to find out how the pancreas affected digestion. Thus, in 1889 they decided to remove the healthy pancreas of a healthy dog. In doing so, they accidentally gave the dog diabetes. They found this out several days later when they realized flies were swarming alarmingly around the dog’s urine. Curious about this, the doctors decided to test the urine to see if any abnormalities came back.

They found sugar in the urine, but the two men never actually found out why this happened nor how the pancreas regulated blood sugar. Then in 1922, researchers from the University of Toronto decided to do some tests on the organ. They were able to discover that by isolating pancreatic secretion, one could create insulin. This won the team a Nobel Prize and just one year later, Eli Lily Pharmaceutical Company began selling insulin that would save the lives of millions affected by Diabetes.

The Greatest Discoveries that Changed Science Forever

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