Richard E. Epstein writes that BREAKTHROUGH is …
” … a superb book by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg called ‘Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle.’ The title is not hyperbole … “
In the following post from the Hoover Institute blog, Richard A. Epstein – a fellow at the Hoover Institute and professor at New York University and the University of Chicago – examines the path that transformed insulin from an idea to a mass-market drug, a process that took approximately three years.
“If you love to read history books, place this one as your ‘next to read.’ ” –Amy, Three Thirty Three
A review of Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle was posted today on the blog Three Thirty Three. Amy, the blog’s founder, discovered the book while researching Type 1 diabetes; her 10-year-old daughter Ellie was diagnosed with T1 in September of this year.
Amy sites some of her favorite moments from BREAKTHROUGH and writes how deeply she was affected by these passages.
Here is an example:
PROLOGUE: page 1
Warner's Safe Diabetes Cure
As scientists in the early 1900s began to learn more about diabetes, their ability to diagnose the disease improved. But with more cases diagnosed, a real treatment remained elusive. Before the breakthrough discovery of insulin, many people, desperate to believe they could be cured, turned to elixirs to treat their diabetes.
Here’s an excerpt from BREAKTHROUGH: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin and the Making of a Medical Miracle by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg:
By 1920, the death rate from diabetes would be double what it was twenty years before, and the number of diagnoses was rising. It appeared that medical research was losing ground.
Louise Mirrer, president of the New-York Historical Society, wrote a wonderful blog on the Huffington Post on November 5. She notes that the “experience of children can teach us volumes about our history.” One such child is Elizabeth Hughes, who, after being diagnosed with diabetes, became one of the first recipients of the newly-discovered insulin. Her story, chronicled in BREAKTHROUGH, is inspiring and eye-opening.
Louise Mirrer writes:
“The story of young Elizabeth Evans Hughes led us to think differently, as an institution organized around history, about the fight for life waged by medical patients almost a century ago and about the roles of science…”
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Tagged Arthur Ainsberg, Breakthrough, diabetes, diabetic, Elizabeth Evans Hughes, Huffington Post, Insulin, Louise Mirrer, New-York Historical Society, NYHS, Thea Cooper
Thomas Sullivan, in Policy and Medicine, praises the groundbreaking collaboration between researchers, physicians, and industry that made the discovery of insulin possible and changed diabetes treatment in his article discussing BREAKTHROUGH, by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg.
“While significant breakthroughs in medicine and innovation in science occur each day, ‘only once or twice in a generation does a miracle drug’ come about that changes the way humans live and physicians practice medicine.”
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Tagged Arthur Ainsberg, Breakthrough, diabetes, Insulin, medical, New-York Historical Society, non-fiction, NYHS, reading, Thea Cooper, type 1
BREAKTHROUGH is reviewed by Riva Greenberg on her blog Diabetes Stories. Greenberg is also a blogger on the Huffington Post.
…the overall arc of the book conveys a true look at the drama of living with diabetes before insulin was discovered…
The full review as it appeared is below:
The discovery of insulin and how it effects one family
The first few patients to actually receive insulin back in 1922 make an interesting story in, Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin and the Making of a Medical Miracle.
It all began at the University of Toronto with the discovery of insulin after two years of scientific research and experiments conducted on dogs.
Arthur Ainsberg appeared on NY Nightly News with Chuck Scarborough Monday night! He discussed BREAKTHROUGH: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle, which he coauthored with Thea Cooper. He also talked about the accompanying exhibition at the New-York Historical Society, based upon the gripping story of the discovery of insulin.
Follow the link below to watch the clip:
Arthur Ainsberg on New York Nightly News with Chuck Scarborough
“With insulin, dying children laughed and played again, as parents wept and doctors spoke of biblical resurrections.”
–The New York Times
BREAKTHROUGH is on the front page of the October 5, 2010 Science section in The
New York Times!
The article explores the current exhibition at the New-York Historical Society, chronicling the discovery of insulin. The exhibition, which opens today, is based upon BREAKTHROUGH: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg, the dramatic and rivetting story of the discovery of insulin.
The full article, as it appears in the NYT, is below:
“Although this is the authors’ first book, they are adept at telling their complicated, multifaceted story with energy and vividness. Their account of diabetics’ treatment before the production of insulin is harrowing”
See the full Washington Times review of BREAKTHROUGH below:
The word miracle is one of the most overused in our language and so often engenders a skeptical reaction. But if ever there was a medical miracle, the discovery of insulin and its rendering into a form deliverable to human beings is up there. For not only did this conquer the hitherto universally fatal Type 1 form of diabetes, in which the pancreas no longer produces insulin, but it provided the paradigm for an incurable disease that could be managed so successfully that many of those suffering from it would live on to die eventually of something else.
This Day In History: On August 31, 1921, in the early days of his research, one of Frederick Banting’s beloved test subjects died. Referred to in his notes as “Dog 92,” the collie provided Banting’s first real success during his research. The dog lived for twenty days without a pancreas, surviving with an extract Banti…ng and Best called “isletin.”
When Dog 92 died, Banting cried. He always loved and appreciated the sacrifice the dogs were making so that humans might live. “I shall never forget that dog as long as I shall live,” Banting wrote of Dog 92 in 1940, “…when that dog died I wanted to be alone for the tears would fall despite anything I could do.”