Newsletter August 25, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee

Following the June decline, Housing Starts shot back up 3.9% in July—5.9% higher than a year ago. Plus, single-family starts gained 6.7% for the month—9.5% year-over-year—good news about these much-needed units.

July Building Permits only eked out a 0.1% gain over June, but builders already have their hands full, with a near record number of projects in the pipeline. But they remain cautious, their confidence index slipping in August.

An online real estate database reported the value of all U.S. real estate hit an all-time high of $46.8 trillion in June. Baby boomers dominate other generations, holding $18 trillion of that housing wealth.

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. ~ Albert Einstein

Diabetes itself had been understood by its symptoms as far back as the 1600s – and the urination and thirst associated with it had been recognized thousands of years before.

A feared and usually deadly disease, doctors in the nineteenth century knew that sugar worsened diabetes and that limited help could be given by dietary restriction of sugar. But if that helped, it also caused death from starvation.

On the night of October 31, 1920, after reading a routine article in a medical journal while preparing a talk to medical students, Frederick Banting wrote down an idea for research aimed at isolating an internal secretion of the pancreas that might prove to be a cure for diabetes.  This substance had long been sought by other researchers.

The next morning, he discussed the idea with F.R. Miller, a professor of physiology at Western, who advised him to seek support for his proposed research at the University of Toronto.

On May 17, 1921, Banting began work under the direction of Professor J.J.R. Macleod and assisted by Charles Best.

Banting and Best’s experiments in the summer and autumn of 1921 were crudely conducted and did not substantiate Banting’s idea, which was physiologically unsound.

Banting had left London and risked all of his meager assets on the research in Toronto. However, he and Best did achieve favorable enough results treating some symptoms in diabetic dogs that Macleod approved further experimentation and an expansion of the research team.

It was in 1921 that Canadian physician Frederick Banting and medical student Charles Best would be credited with discovering the hormone insulin in the pancreatic extracts of dogs.

Banting and Best injected the hormone into a dog and found that it lowered high blood glucose levels to normal. They then perfected their experiments to the point of grinding up and filtering a dog’s surgically tied pancreas, isolating a substance called “isletin.”

The pair then developed insulin for human treatment with the help of Canadian chemist James B. Collip and Scottish physiologist J.J.R. Macleod.

Macleod had been impressed with Banting and Best’s work but wanted a retrial of the evidence. He provided pancreases from cows to make the extract which was named “insulin,” and the procedures were repeated.

Collip’s role was to help with purifying the insulin to be used for testing on humans.

Ultimately, the first medical success was with a boy with type 1 diabetes – 14-year-old Leonard Thompson – who was successfully treated in 1922.

Close to death before treatment, Leonard bounced back to life with the insulin.

Insulin was immediately and spectacularly effective: not a cure, but a powerful lifesaving therapy for diabetes mellitus.

Frederick Banting was hailed as the principal discoverer of insulin because his idea had launched the research and because of his prominence in the early use of insulin.

The Nobel Prize Committee in Sweden recognized the contributions of both Banting and Macleod in this important discovery.

On learning that he was to share the 1923 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with MacleodBanting gave half his prize money to Best.

Macleod gave half his prize money to Collip.

Banting was awarded a lifetime annuity by the Government of Canada, was appointed Canada’s first professor of medical research at the University of Toronto and was knighted in 1934. He was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. ~ Michael Bliss

Cindy Glynn
Coldwell Banker American Home