Medicine: Insulin at 25

In pre-insulin days, diabetics had two alternatives: eat well and die tomorrow, or live on a starvation diet and die by inches. Then one day in 1920 Frederick Banting, a young research M.D. at the University of Toronto, wrote in his notebook: "Tie off pancreatic duct of dogs. Wait six to eight weeks. . . . Remove residue and extract." Months later, Banting and Charles Best, a medical student assisting him, announced the isolation of insulin, the sugar-controlling hormone of the pancreas that gives diabetics—people whose bodies cannot use up their sugar intake—a new...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!