Tag Archives: Charles Best

Banting: Diabetes Breakthrough in the Heat of Summer

Charles Best and Frederick Banting

It’s been a steamy summer so far, with record-high temperatures hitting cities around the world. The sweltering summer heat can send even sun worshipers running for the cool relief of an air-conditioned room. But that wasn’t always an option.

Almost ninety years ago, in 1921, Toronto experienced one of the hottest summers on record. It was in this oppressive heat that Frederick Banting and Charles Best would begin their research for a new diabetes treatment at a University of Toronto lab. The conditions were far from ideal. The operating table was made of wood, which meant it was difficult to keep sterile, the floor couldn’t be effectively scrubbed because water would leak through to the ceiling below, glassware was smeared, and linens were tattered and stained. The heat exacerbated the already difficult objectives at hand.

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