Finally, in 1922 a former divinity student named Dr. Frederick Banting figured out how to extract insulin from a dog's pancreas. Skeptical colleagues said the stuff looked like "thick brown muck." Banting injected the insulin into the keister of a 14-year-old boy named Leonard Thompson, whose body was so ravaged by diabetes that he weighed only 65 pounds. Little Leonard developed abscesses on his bottom and still felt lousy, though his blood sugar improved slightly. Encouraged, Banting refined the formula for insulin and tried again six weeks later. This time Leonard's condition improved rapidly. His blood sugar dropped from 520 mg/dl to a more manageable 120 mg/dl. He gained weight, and his strength returned. (Poor Lenny -- although his diabetes remained in control for years, he died of pneumonia when he was just 27.)
Banting and a colleague, Dr. John Macleod, won the Nobel Prize for their work. Commercial production of insulin for treating diabetes began soon after. For many years, drug companies derived the hormone using pancreases that came primarily from stockyards, taken from slaughtered cows and pigs, which didn't need the organs anymore.
Animal insulin has saved millions of lives, but it has a problem: It causes allergic reactions in some users. In 1978, a fledgling biotechnology company named Genentech produced the first synthetically manufactured insulin that could be made in large amounts. Using bacteria or yeast as miniature "factories," the gene for human insulin was inserted into bacterial DNA. The result was human insulin, called recombinant DNA insulin, which did not cause the problems that animal insulin sometimes did.
When it became widely available in the early 1980s, this new insulin changed the treatment of diabetes forever. Today, almost all people with diabetes who require insulin use a form of recombinant human insulin rather than animal insulin. (Article source Discovery Health)
#3 Glucose Meters
The early blood glucose monitor had reproducibility issues i.e. they were unable to reproduce their results consistently. They did however lay the important foundation in the history of the development of glucose meters. In 1973, the glucose meter analyzed the amount of hydrogen peroxide amperometrically (uses amperes). The next glucose meter developed at about the same time relied on a color. The device measured the color of the test strip after the glucose in the blood reacted with the glucose oxidase coated strip.
It took more than a decade for the glucose meters to advance to the current home use friendly monitors to help in the management of diabetes. The modern glucose meter uses an electric potential that is between two electrodes. The current that goes between the two is converted to a concentration reading. The testing strips contain the glucose enzyme acts as the first electrode. The advances in digital technology served well in the history of glucose meters. Advances in silicon chips, sensor technology, and thick film sensor technology led to the glucose monitors currently available. These advances have led to small hand held point-of-care with significantly reduced result time readings. The newer meters offer continuous glucose monitoring and are used in conjunction with an insulin pump.
As technology advances, the history of glucose monitors is an ongoing saga. The future promises glucose monitors with pain free blood extracting devices with the ability to draw minuscule amount of blood from above the nerve cells. The blood glucose monitor will be more accurate and offer readings faster due to the continual advances in technology. (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2200366)