Background informationCharles Best was born on February 1899 to two Canadian parents; Herbert Best and Luella Fisher. Charles married Margaret Mahon in 1924 in Toronto (Marble, 2011). They had two sons who were Henry and Alexander. While Henry became the president of Laurentian University in Ontario, Alexander became a politician in Canada. Charles Best was born in the county of Washington, Mane. He moved to Toronto in 1915 and commenced his undergraduate degree at the Toronto University at the age of 16. He recruited as a Canadian army officer at the age of 19 and served at the second tank battalion of the Canadian army. Charles Best worked at the Toronto University at the age of 22 together with Dr. Frederick Banting. Moreover, Charles worked at the laboratory of J.J Macleod as an assistant to DR. Frederick. The works of Dr. Frederick and his assistant, Charles Best, contributed to the discovery of insulin in 1923.
Charles’ Contribution to Chemistry
Charles Best worked with Dr. Frederick in 1921 in Professor Macleod’s laboratory. Charles and Frederick separated the pancreatic excerpts from dogs. Although Professor Macleod was doubtful of the essence of the research in his lab, he permitted the research for the spring period. Dr. Frederick and Charles concluded that the pancreatic islets hosted beta cells that produced a peptide hormone. The researchers showed that the peptide hormone was crucial in the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Moreover, the hormone assisted in the absorption of glucose in the skeletal muscles and the liver from the blood. Therefore, the high levels of peptide hormone that represented the insulin, prevented the liver’s production of glucose. While the low levels of insulin led to catabolism, the high levels of insulin caused anabolism. Furthermore, insulin was crucial in the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Charles and Frederick came up with the available structure of the insulin compound.
The Importance of the Insulin Discovery
Because of the death risks of diabetes before the year 1922, the discovery of insulin was crucial (Rosenfeld, 2011). The information on diabetes showed that the sugar was detrimental to the diabetes condition. Therefore, the available treatment for diabetes was diet prescriptions that made the patient minimize personal sugar ingest. The diet prescription lengthened the patients’ survival period with a couple of years. However, the diet prescriptions were hectic to some patients and they suffered from starvation. The starvation mostly affected the diabetic patients at the advanced stages of the disease.
The work of Charles and Dr. Frederick was a progress to the work of Paul Langerhans. Paul was a German student in 1869 who found the nature of the digestive juices in the pancreatic tissue (Rosenfeld, 2011). Moreover, the research work by Oskar Minkowski proved the essence of the pancreatic juice in the digestive system. The work by Oskar was a foundation for the work of Charles Best and Dr. Frederick. Oskar stated that the dog suffered from diabetes in the absence of the pancreas. Therefore, the diabetes emanated from the lack of the functions of the pancreas. Hence, the pancreas is responsible for the production of the digestive juice and an unknown substance that the controls the sugar glucose in the body. Charles and Frederick developed the idea that the digestive juices from the pancreas were harmful to the pancreas excretion. They performed the litigation of the pancreatic duct. Charles and Dr. Frederick’s most important contribution to the treatment of diabetes is the discovery that the extraction of the cells responsible for the antidiabetic secretion was possible without the cause of harm to the pancreas.
Modifications of The Insulin Discovery
The discovery by Charles and Dr. Frederick showed a possibility in the research of diabetics as well as its treatment. Hans Hagedorn made the vital improvement in the discovery in Denmark and modified the insulin knowledge. Hagedorn discovered that the preparation of a stable insulin was possible. He combined protamine with insulin. Consequently, the results showed the development of a stable insulin that had a longer action period more than the insulin by Charles and Dr. Frederick. Also, Hagedorn came up with an alternative preparation of a stable insulin through the addition of the Zinc compound to insulin (Voloshchuk, Liang, & Liang, 2016). By the last half of the 20th century, scientists showed that the animal insulins caused immunogenicity. Therefore, the scientists developed the insulin biosynthesis. The scientists developed human insulin as the first protein production on a large scale. The production of the human insulin provided an alternative to the inadequate cadaveric insulin from animals in the global needs.
The Acceptance of Insulin
Due to the short impacts of the insulin by Charles and Dr. Frederick, the doctors were dissatisfied by the traits of the drug. The doctors showed that the insulin must be fast and quick to imitate the quick insulin productions during the intake of meals.
The Future of Insulin
The firms in the information age specialize in the mass production of insulin. The future of insulin relates to the technology of the Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) Nano-pump (Salt, 2013). The Nano-pump is a double system that attaches the body with a display instrument of the insulin reservoir. Consequently, the system creates a pump mechanism to administer insulin to the body. Moreover, technology affects the production of insulin through the use of wireless controls for the administration of insulin. For example, research shows the BetaWedge technology that is a wireless and minute pump that hosts insulin. A doctor uses the pump for three days and inserts a tiny cannula under the patient’s skin. Consequently, a doctor controls the administration of insulin as a basis of program commands.
- Marble, A. (2011). Charles Herbert Best 1899? 1978. Diabetologia, 21(6), 141-142. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf00422260
- Rosenfeld, L. (2011). Insulin: Discovery and Controversy. Clinical Chemistry, 48(12), 2270-2288. Retrieved from http://www.clinchem.org/content/48/12/2270.full
- Salt, I. (2013). Examining the role of insulin in the regulation of cardiovascular health. Future Cardiology, 9(1), 39-52. http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fca.12.77
- Voloshchuk, N., Liang, D., & Liang, J. (2016). Sortase A Mediated Protein Modifications and Peptide Conjugations. Current Drug Discovery Technologies, 12(4), 205-213. http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1570163812666150903115601