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Международный студенческий научный вестник
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ФРЕДЕРИК БАНТИНГ – ИЗВЕСТНЫЙ ФИЗИОЛОГ

Бондаренко А.И. 1 Забелло Е.Д. 1
1 ГБОУ ВПО «ОрГМУ» Минздрава России
1. Zabolotnaya S.G., Kostomarova E.V., Ivanova E.A. A glimpse of pharmacy. Part 1: Textbook for students of the pharmaceutical department. Orenburg: OrSMA, 2011. – 328 p.
2. Banting F.G., Best C.H. The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine. Nutrition Reviews, St. Louis, February, 1922, vol. VII, No. 5. 45 (4). – P. 55.
3. MacLeod J.B. A. Frederick G. Banting: Giving Prospects for Life from the Past to the New Millennium. Archives of Surger, 2006, 141 (7). – P. 705–707.

Frederick Banting (1891-1941), a scientist, surgeon and physiologist was born in Canada. He was educated at the University of Toronto. He was the first to isolate the hormone called insulin, and succeeded in preparing it as a specific medicament for the treatment of diabetes. In 1923 he received the Nobel Prize.

He wanted to help suffering humanity in every way he could – and he did so to the very tragic end of his life.

Frederick Banting was born on a farm. In his childhood the family was short of money. But Fred’s life was a quiet one when he was a child.

One day there was an event that changed his whole life completely. On his way home from school, he stopped to look at two men who were repairing the roof of a house. Suddenly the planks on which they were standing fell to the ground. The two men fell with them. One of the men did not move; the other had a broken arm. When a doctor arrived, he examined the two men and set to work. Fred stood by the doctor and watched. “From that day”, Fred said later, “I thought that the greatest service in life is that of the medical profession, and my greatest ambition was to be a doctor”.

Towards the end of Fred’s schooldays, there was a double tragedy which might have increased his interest in medicine. Two schoolfellows of Fred’s had been taken ill. This illness was called “infantile diabetes” or sometimes “sugar sickness”. Soon the boys died. The disease itself was known in ancient times. Its symptoms were described by Egyptian, Greek, and Roman doctors. But they did not know what caused it. All they knew was that the persons taken ill grew thinner and thinner and suffered from a terrible thirst.

So, medicine became more and more attractive to him. It was in 1910 that Fred was accepted as a first-year student at Victoria College, Toronto. During the Easter holidays he announced his decision to his father, who had wanted him to become a minister. He knew that it would be a shock for his father, but Mr. Banting allowed Fred to study medicine.

Fred went back to Toronto a happy student. Work was very different now. Gone with Latin and Greek! He studied anatomy, physiology, as well as bacteriology and chemistry.

In those early days of his medical training, Banting had less and less time for anything but work. He was especially interested in surgery, and most of all he wanted to study the way in which the bones of the human body worked.

In 1915, Banting carried out his first surgical operation. All went well and the patient recovered completely. In 1916, Banting passed his final examinations. He was now a fully qualified doctor. The young Canadian wanted to practice orthopedic surgery. This was the treatment of people, especially children, who had deformities of the bones. During twelve weeks he did not have a single patient. So Dr. Banting had to look for an extra job. One day he heard that the university department of physiology needed an instructor. It was Banting who got the job. In this way Frederick entered the field of physiology.

One night, in October 1920, he began preparing material for the next week’s lectures. He was to lecture to his students on an organ of the human body called the pancreas. His text book was open to a picture of the digestive organs.

The pancreas is a soft organ lying behind the stomach. It produces a digestive juice called the pancreatic juice. The pancreas not only produces a digestive juice but also a hormone called insulin. It is produced by a cluster of cells in the pancreas called the Islets of Langerhans. The blood as it flows through the pancreas picks up insulin. The amount of sugar in the blood is regulated by the amount of insulin from the pancreas. The pancreas thus helps the body to use sugar. In diabetes something happens to the pancreas so that it no longer secretes insulin or secretes too small an amount, and soon the patient dies.

The subject of diabetes did not belong to the physiology class. But Banting could not forget the problem. He began to think that possibly the Islets of Langerhans had in them something which was valuable to the human body, and maybe this something might have an influence on treating diseases of diabetes which had killed two of his school friends. Doctor had long been studying diabetes. They knew that the pancreas had some influence on the way which sugar was used in the human body. But none of them thought that the Islets of Langerhans were the really important part of the pancreas.

Diabetes does not come from outside. It comes because a delicate mechanism inside the body breaks down.

Banting first became interested in the treatment of diabetes – it was on that October night when he was preparing his lecture on an organ called the pancreas. He did not go to bed until two o’clock in the morning. The last thing he did that night was to take a little notebook and write: “Tie off pancreas duct of dogs. Wait six or eight weeks. Remove and extract.”

When he woke up next morning, he studied his note carefully. He set out to read all the experiments concerning the pancreas. As far as Banting could determine no one had even tried this method.

Banting went to the head of the physiology department and told him the story. The doctor was surprised to find his assistant eager to do the most complicated kind of physiological research.

“Go to the University of Toronto”, he told the young man, “to Professor Macleod. His laboratory is the place for your work, and he can give you information and help”.

Dr. Macleod told Banting that there had been a lot of work done on this problem of the pancreas, and that he did not think a new attempt would bring better results. But Banting did not give up. He asked little: just ten animals, a small laboratory – and all for only eight weeks.

Finally the professor said that, since he was going away for the summer, part of the laboratory would be unused. If Banting wanted it, he could have it, and he would be allowed to have ten dogs for his work. He would also have a student to help him. One of these students was Charles Best. His subjects were physiology and biochemistry. Macleod had recommended him to Banting because the young man would be very useful in carrying out the necessary chemical tests on such matters as the sugar content of the blood of the dogs. Banting knew practically nothing about these tests. That is why the presence of Charles Best in the laboratory was a rare piece of luck.

In 1923 his work had been given the highest honour of all the Nobel Prize. Apart from the Nobel Prize, the project which gave him the greatest joy was the starting in 1928 of a great new building in Toronto. This was the Banting Institute, to be the home of Canadian medical research.

In our opinion, insulin occupies an almost exceptional position in the history of medicine. It has eliminated the word “hopeless”, and it has given years of active, normal life to millions of people suffering from diabetes. They will always bless the discoverer of insulin Frederick Banting.

We express our very enormous gratitude to our teacher of English, candidate of pedagogical sciences, assistant professor of Foreign Languages Department of the Orenburg State Medical University Zabolotnaya Svetlana Gennadievna.


Библиографическая ссылка

Бондаренко А.И., Забелло Е.Д. ФРЕДЕРИК БАНТИНГ – ИЗВЕСТНЫЙ ФИЗИОЛОГ // Международный студенческий научный вестник. – 2016. – № 4-3. ;
URL: https://eduherald.ru/ru/article/view?id=16228 (дата обращения: 22.03.2023).

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