133 Frederick Banting Facts To Learn About The Co-Inventor Of Insulin | Kidadl

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133 Frederick Banting Facts To Learn About The Co-Inventor Of Insulin

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Insulin can be defined as the hormone that maintains blood sugar homeostasis in the body.

The pancreas, located between the stomach and the duodenum, is responsible for producing and secreting this hormone. Insulin is produced in the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans that make up the endocrine part of the pancreas.

Sir Frederick Banting, along with John James Rickard Macleod, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the extraction of insulin for the treatment of diabetes in the year 1923. He shared the prize with his colleague, Charles Best, who participated with Banting throughout the medical research of insulin.

Banting was born in Canada on November 14, 1891, and was the youngest son among the five children of Margaret Grant and William Thompson Banting. In the early years of his medical career, after studying at the University of Toronto, he was an orthopedic resident surgeon at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.

Let's delve deeper to know how exactly insulin was extracted by Dr. Frederick Banting and his assistant, Best.

If you enjoyed the read, then learn more fun facts, like Marie Curie facts and Albert Einstein facts here on Kidadl.

Fun Facts About Frederick Banting

After completing his studies in medical school, Frederick Grant Banting was appointed as battalion medical officer by the Canadian Army Medical Corps. After serving there for three years in the World War, he returned to Toronto after getting injured by shrapnel in the Battle of Cambrai in 1918. Despite his wounds, he stood by the wounded soldiers at war for a continuous period of sixteen hours. The British army recognized this act of bravery, and in the year 1919, he was awarded the prestigious Military Cross. Frederick Banting was also one of the few men who received multiple licenses by the Royal College of Physicians of London to practice surgery, medicine, and midwifery.

Upon returning, he completed his training in surgery and joined the Hospital of Sick Children as a resident orthopedic surgeon. He continued as a medical practitioner for about a year until 1920, when he set up his own center for medical practice in London, Ontario. Again for almost a year, he continued to practice medicine besides teaching part-time anthropology and orthopedics at the University of Western Ontario. Banting was also a lecturer in pharmacology from 1921 to 1922 at the University of Toronto.

He was preparing to deliver a lecture on insulin at the University of Western Ontario when he came across various reports on the medical program on obtaining insulin. Diabetes was an incurable disease at that time, and therefore, his interest in insulin treatment for diabetes grew deeper with these articles.

An article published by Moses Barron showed a particular interest in Banting as he conducted medical research on the treatment options for diabetes. He put forth his plan for extracting insulin following the principle of pancreatic ligation in the hope of finding out medicine for increased blood glucose levels.

J.J. Macleod approved of this medical research and provided Banting with all the experimental facilities, including his own medical student, Dr. Charles Best, who was just 22 years old, for assisting Banting. Later on, they were joined by the biochemist, James Collip, who assisted Banting in extracting the pure insulin from the animal pancreas.

At first, their findings were presented at the American Physiological Societies at Yale University in 1921. The poor presentation of Banting led to several criticisms at the conference initially. Macleod later managed this, which made their relationship bitter after that.

Frederick Banting's Education

The youngest son of William Thompson Banting grew up in a farmhouse in the town of Ontario. Frederick Grant Banting went to the public school in Alliston, after which he enrolled himself in the Arts program in Victoria College, which was under the University of Toronto. He was a hard-working student and wanted to pursue a career in medicine. Therefore, he left this course and re-applied for the medical department at the University of Toronto in the year 1912.

Frederick Banting also wanted to enroll himself in the Canadian army, but he was rejected owing to his poor eyesight. His degree in medical school was fast-tracked due to the ongoing World War when more doctors were required to treat the soldiers at war.

He served as a medical officer after joining the army in the year 1915, and due to his outstanding contribution, he was awarded the Military Cross in 1919.

Banting returned to Canada and completed his surgical training. After being a Resident surgeon for about a year, he set up his own medical chamber in London. He was a pharmacology lecturer as well in the University of Toronto for a year. The part-time teaching at the University of Western Ontario led Sir Frederick Bunting to the discovery of diabetes treatment and, eventually, winning the Nobel Prize in 1923.

Banting was a gold medalist in M.D., which he received in the year 1922.

Frederick Banting's Contribution To Medicine

Sir Frederick Banting turned the possibility of extracting insulin from a surgical procedure of duct ligation into a reality. He carried out numerous experiments on animals, mostly on dogs, to identify the enzymes that break down insulin. Banting extracted the pancreas from fetal calves and discovered that its potency was quite similar to that of the dog pancreases.

Insulin was first coined by Schafer, who, along with several other researchers, found out that it is this hormone that is responsible for controlling blood sugar. However, their attempts to extract insulin failed. This was mainly because the proteolytic enzyme trypsin, which is also secreted by the pancreas, breaks down this insulin. Banting first thought of the solution to this problem while he was reading an article by Moses Baron, who specifically mentioned that by the process of pancreatic duct ligation, the trypsin secreting cells could be degenerated, thus allowing the insulin to remain intact.

Banting discussed his idea of pancreatic duct ligation to extract insulin from the pancreas with J.J. Macleod, who was the Professor of Physiology at the University of Toronto. After much consideration, he provided Banting with a lab to conduct his experiments as well as the lab assistant, Dr. Charles Best. Together they started to conduct numerous experiments on insulin research in animals, especially dogs, in the hope of extracting insulin to treat diabetes mellitus.

He was also successful in extracting insulin from adult pork and beef, which was widely used throughout the world for the treatment of diabetes mellitus till the early 20th Century.

It was because of Banting that the commercial manufacture of insulin from genetically engineered bacteria became possible. The incurable disease of diabetes finally got a cure from this discovery.

Leonard Thompson, a 14-year-old boy of Canada, received the first injection of insulin at the Toronto General Hospital on January 11, 1922. After undergoing a temporary allergic reaction, the boy showed signs of recovery, and his blood sugar levels were normal very soon. The entire world applauded the success of Banting's discovery.

Banting continued to treat diabetic patients at his own private practice in Toronto. Elizabeth Hughes Gossett was the first patient who came under his treatment, who was the daughter of U.S Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes.

His immense interest in aviation medicine led him to join the Royal Canadian Research Force (RCAF), where he involved himself in researching the cure for various physiological problems associated with high-altitude flying in combat aircraft. Banting investigated the syncope remedies that resulted due to the gravitational forces in flight. He led the Number 1 Clinical Investigational Unit of RCAF. Banting assisted Wilbur Franks in developing the G-suit that helped the pilots to jump from high altitudes without blacking out.

During the Second World War, his involvement in finding out the cure for mustard gas burns is worth mentioning. He even tested an antidote on himself after exposure to the gas to comprehend its effectiveness.

Banting also engaged himself in various other research sectors like cancer, silicosis, and the mechanisms of drowning. His lasting contribution to the world of medicine led to the development of multitudes of healthcare industries and the booming growth of biotechnology companies.

Frederick Grant Banting received the Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering the diabetic cure.

Frederick Banting's Accomplishments

In 1923, Banting was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology. He shared the award and the prize money with his partner, Charles Best, who assisted him throughout the experiments. Banting also shared the prize with James Collip, who helped him in the extraction of pure insulin from the animal pancreas.

Banting was appointed at the University of Toronto as Senior Demonstrator in Medicine in the year 1922. He was elected the next year as the director of the new Banting and Best Chair of Medical Research by the Legislature of the Province of Ontario. He received a lifetime annuity of $7,500 from the Canadian Parliament in July 1923. In the same year, Banting spoke to a crowd of 76,500 people at the Canadian Nation Exhibition.

In the year 1928, this great man took part in the Cameron Lecture at Edinburgh. Banting also received the prestigious Knight Commander title in 1934, followed by his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1935. In 1989, a Flame of Hope was lit by Her Majesty the Queen Mother in his honor which is located in London, Ontario, at Sir Frederick Banting Square. Also, he was the first person in Canada to win the Nobel Prize.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 133 Frederick Banting facts to learn about the co-inventor of insulin, then why not take a look at Alexander Graham Bell facts or Nikola Tesla facts?

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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