On January 23, 1922, the first injection of insulin was given to a person who saved his life.
On January 23, 1922, the first injection of insulin was given to a person. The injection saved the life of a child who was in the terminal stage of diabetes. The very diagnosis of diabetes has ceased to be a sentence. The Nobel Prize was immediately awarded to the heroes of this story, around which unprecedented passions were played out: The Nobel Committee was first accused of collaborating with the “backstage world”.
(Only 4 photos)
Returning home from the front of the First World War, Canadian surgeon Frederick Banting developed a wounded arm and opened a private practice. Things went bad. To make ends meet, Banting became a demonstrator at the Department of Pathological Anatomy at the University of London (Ontario). On October 30, 1920, in preparation for assisting at a lecture on the pancreas, Banting came across an article describing a curious clinical case.
The patient was stoned ducts, through which digestive secretions from the pancreas enter the intestine. As a result, iron was atrophied, but for some reason diabetes did not develop. But even 30 years earlier, Oskar Minkowski found that when the pancreas is removed, diabetes and early death occur. Banting thought. In fact, there is another organ in the pancreas - the islets of Langerhans, the secret of which goes not into the intestines, but immediately into the blood. Now we know that this secret is insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. But then the role of the islets of Langerhans was unclear. After reading the article, Banting went to bed. In the middle of the night, he awoke thinking about how to get an "anti-diabetic start."
He immediately sketched for memory a historical document entitled "Diabetus". Yes, then the future savior of diabetics wrote the name of their illness with an error - that in English, that in Latin it is spelled "diabetes". Then came the text: “Bandage the pancreatic ducts in the dog. Leaving it alive until iron atrophies will remain islets. Try to extract their secret, to get rid of glycosuria "(that is, from sugar in the urine).
With this note, he turned to the only laboratory in all of Canada, where they were working on diabetes, to the professor of physiology, John MacLeod, at the University of Toronto. The physiologist did not believe in the idea of the experiment. “How many scientists have tried to give the diabetics a crushed pancreas, and all for nothing,” he said. For example, “the famous Romanian doctor Nicolae Paulescu” and a few more names. But no one has ever conducted such an experience, and McLeod allowed Banting to try. He was given a laboratory for two months while the owner spends his vacation in his native Scotland.
However, Banting was a surgeon, not a scientist: he did not even know how to measure the level of sugar in the blood and urine. MacLeod decided to leave him one of his two graduate students. Young people threw a coin: who plow all summer, and who ride a bike and care for girls. "Plow" fell to Charles Best. He did not even suspect that this was a ticket to immortality.
From the very beginning, Banting’s work with Best did not work out. Of the 19 dogs that they operated on, 14 died from sepsis or blood loss due to the inexperience of experimenters. The project budget was the most modest.To buy new animals and materials, Banting sold off all his possessions. In case of failure, he would have nowhere to go.
When the lab owner returned from vacation, he learned that an extract from the islets of Langerhans of one of the dogs lowered the level of sugar in the urine of a dog with a removed pancreas. MacLeod decided to drive Banting out of the laboratory and gave him help from Collip's biochemist to clear the extract and extract protein from it, which reduces sugar.
In those days, Christmas was not the dead season, when scientific life stops, but the time of conferences. At Christmas, 1921, Banting reported on his experiment to members of the American Society of Physiologists. The diabetes specialists sat there, bombarded with theory questions. Seeing that the colleague in this topic is “floating”, MacLeod intervened and turned the conversation to biochemistry, the results of the experiment that “we conducted,” the professor closed the beginner with his authority. After the meeting, Banting pounced on McLeod: "Who are we?" He believed that the physiologist was going to appropriate his discovery.
Everything had to decide the experiment on man. Two weeks later, on January 11, 1922, Banting and Best injected insulin to make sure it was harmless.The following injection was given to a boy named Leonard Thompson, a goner who was smashed with acetone. Such a symptom meant that the patient would not last more than a month. The injection caused a terrible bout of allergy in Leonard. Here the biochemist Collip entered the business. He asked me to give him the whole preparation for cleaning with a new method. “What?” Asked Banting. “Until I say,” Collip replied. Imagine that this is the machinations of the insidious MacLeod, Banting rushed at Collip with his fists. Well, that Best was stronger than a surgeon, and Collip escaped. He was only going to clear insulin and did it. On January 23, Banting made the boy a new injection. The result was a real miracle. The smell of acetone disappeared, a light appeared in the eyes of the patient, he had an appetite. A week later, he looked healthy. Of course, he continued to depend on injections, but his sentence was postponed indefinitely.
The news of this healing spread all over the world. And right there from the other end of the earth came the voice of the "famous Romanian doctor" Paulescu. You see, in 1916 he did the same experience with dogs as Banting and Best. Here Romania entered the war, Paulescu was drafted into the army, so his report came out only in the spring of 1921 in a Belgian magazine.Yes, he did not work with people, but the idea of the experience was his, and let MacLeod prove that he did not see that article.
In addition to the war, Paulescu was prevented from doing science by an unusual hobby. He was obsessed with the idea of a struggle with the world Masonic conspiracy. Back in 1913, his fat work came out on this topic, and in 1922, with the participation of Paulescu, a new powerful party appeared in Romania - the National Christian Union, the banner of which was the Romanian flag with a swastika in the middle. To raise the authority of the leader of the party, the Nobel Prize just would not hurt.
Of course, the Nobel Committee decided to award a prize for insulin. A Dane Augustus Krog, the winner of the 1920 award, went to Canada with the task of finding a hero and pushing him. Krogh had his own interest: his wife had diabetes, and when he returned home, he immediately organized insulin production in Denmark.
Watching passions seething in Canada, Krog decided to put forward both Banting and MacLeod. The surgeon-enthusiast is, of course, the soul of the enterprise, but the head of the laboratory organizes everything, carrying out the scenes that Banting arranges. Most importantly, McLeod agreed with the company "Eli Lilly" to attract its resources to refine production technology withouttransfer of the company to the insulin patent. It was very important, otherwise all the diabetics of the world would be enslaved to "Eli Lilly." And what could Paulescu show? Only the idea of experience on dogs, which he also did not do first.
It turned out that French professor Eugene Gley, who discovered the parathyroid gland, made such an experience with a dog in 1905. Then he did not tell anyone about the results, but simply deposited a report for storage in the Paris Biological Society. But now Gley extracted documents from the depot and talked about his priority everywhere. He was about to go to Stockholm to download the rights when Oscar Minkowski himself pulled him up: it turns out that in the 17 years before the report was deposited, hundreds of thousands of people died from diabetes just because the author did not decide on publication. No matter how he was put in prison for the massacre. Gley subsided, and the 1923 Nobel Prize was awarded to Banting with McLeod.
Banting immediately said that all of Mcleod's merit was that he was on vacation on time, and Best deserves the prize. And he gave half of his prize Bestu. MacLeod responded by giving half of his reward to Collip, without whom the miracle on January 23 would not have happened.
But Paulescu did not calm down.Since Gley did not tell anyone about his experience, then the idea is still his. And the log confirms this. The following year, Nobel Prize winner Anatole France died, and here the Romanian professor made a completely unheard of statement. Nobel is a representative of international capital, he argued, and you know who this capital is: the Jews behind the global Freemasonry. And the Nobel Committee serves them. After the death of Anatol France, it turned out that his brain weighs only 1017 grams. This is far below average. And no wonder, because the Jews are a degenerate nation.
Math Paulescu sounded crazy, but crazy ideas are very convincing. The fact that Anatole France sacrificed his prize in 1921 to the starving Soviet Russia was "laid down in a row" —the Jews spread Bolshevism. In this statement, the Nobel Committee, in addition to pathology, saw a direct attack on itself. MacLeod was asked to speak and somehow neutralize the violent Romanian.
Nowadays, Nobel lectures are sometimes given on the eve of the award. And then these two events separated several years. And on May 26, 1925, MacLeod gave his Nobel lecture. In it, he noted the ideas of Gley and Paulescu - where do without them.And then he got a trump card: insulin had Russian roots.
Leonid Sobolev, a lecturer at the St. Petersburg Military Medical Academy, expressed the idea of experience in dogs back in 1900. He defended a whole thesis on ligation of the pancreatic ducts, in which diabetes does not develop. And correctly explained the role of the islets of Langerhans. In addition, he noted that these islets in embryos are larger than the pancreas, and it is possible not to kill adult dogs in order to get an “anti-diabetic onset”. To get it to Sobolev himself was prevented by multiple sclerosis, from which he died in the prime of life. His dissertation was published in German in 1901, and let Gley and Paulescu prove that they did not see her.
In addition, Sobolev had a friend, academician Ivan Pavlov, who, as stated in his dissertation, was kind enough to Leonid Vasilyevich and personally operated on three rabbits during the experiments. Pavlov was still alive and well, and with him the jokes were bad.
The question remains, was the work of Sobolev known to Canadians. In 1935, Banting came to Leningrad to a physiological congress and introduced himself to Pavlov there. They talked and took pictures together.Perhaps, Ivan Petrovich and then recalled his three rabbits, but did not express any complaints about Banting. The conversation was about the future.
The first patient in the world to receive insulin therapy, Leonard Thompson (1908-1935). On the left, in the terminal stage of diabetes in his mother’s arms, in December 1921, when he entered the clinic of the University of Ontario. State of exhaustion: before insulin appeared, the only method of therapy was fasting. It allowed to delay death for several months. Right - he is in February 1922. After January 23, 1922, Thompson felt much better. He lived for another 13 years and died of pneumonia, which his weakened body with a chronic disease could not fight. The creator of insulin therapy, Frederick Banting, maintained constant communication with him, as he did with the other 13 of his patients. Some of them have lived on injections for another half a century.
Upper left shot: on the left, Charles Best (1899-1978), Frederic Banting (1891-1941) bent over with one of the dogs they operated on. Summer of 1921
Upper right snapshot: an extractor in which Banting and Best extracted insulin from the pancreas of experimental animals. 1921
Lower left picture: biochemist James Collip (1892-1965), who managed to clear insulin from impurities and get it in a form suitable for clinical use.Picture taken in 1927.
Lower right snapshot: John MacLeod (1876-1935), head of the department of physiology at the University of Toronto, head of the laboratory where insulin was obtained, and the organizer of the first production of this hormone. Along with Banting, he won the 1923 Nobel Prize. Gave this drug a name: Banting and Best called him first “isletin” from English “islet” (“island”, on the islets of Langerhans). MacLeod preferred the Latin word (“insula” - “island”). Photo 1928.
Nicolae Paulescu (1869-1931), an outstanding Romanian doctor, professor of physiology at the University of Bucharest. In 1916, he isolated insulin and achieved a reduction in the sugar content in the blood of dogs with artificially induced diabetes. He published a paper on this before the beginning of the experiments of Banting and Best in a 1921 Belgian journal.
He failed to prove his priority and was not awarded the Nobel Prize. He suspected that behind this major failure was the world-wide Masonic-Jewish conspiracy; founded a fascist party, called upon to fight the "backstage of the world". If it were not for the death of blood cancer, could well be among the accomplices of Hitler in Romania, as his party members.In socialist times, he was considered a fascist, now he has been rehabilitated and is listed in the pantheon of the great Romanian scientists, many of whom he was friends with during his lifetime.
Leonid Sobolev (1876-1919) is a biologist who first proved by experience that the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas produce a certain hormone (later called insulin) that regulates blood sugar levels. The message was made by him in 1900.
In this picture Sobolev is the only one in civilian clothes. He is an assistant professor who teaches at the Department of Pathological Anatomy of the St. Petersburg Military Medical Academy. About a year later, he will retire due to illness, will die from multiple sclerosis at his clinic, in the hungry spring of 1919.
Photo: Karl Bulla, circa 1911. From the archive of Vsevolod Zinzerling, published by Mikhail Akhmanov.