Tag Archives: Insulin

BREAKTHROUGH Should Be On Your “Next-to-Read” List

“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

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Before Insulin, Elixirs Promised Over-the-Counter Diabetes Cure

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.

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Breakthrough: Diabetes History and the Experience of a Child

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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BREAKTHROUGH: The Miracle of Insulin

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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BREAKTHROUGH: Arthur Ainsberg Interviewed on NBC

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

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Washington Times: BREAKTHROUGH Told With “Energy” and “Vividness”

“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.

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BREAKTHROUGH: ‘BEST NEW NON-FICTION’ LIST

Reviewer Alan Caruba  included Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg on his monthly list of best new non-fiction! Alan Caruba is an author and a charter member of the National Book Critics Circle who has been reviewing for more than five decades. Here’s what he wrote:

 

“I heartily recommend this book.”

“…mark your calendar…”

“The whole story is fraught with drama…”

 

Read the full post below:

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Arthur Ainsberg: Guest Blog on DiabetesMine.Com

 

     A guest blog, written by  Arthur Ainsberg, was posted yesterday on DiabetesMine.com. DiabetesMine was founded by Amy Tenderich, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in May 2003. She writes of the site:  “I started this blog to connect with others, to offset the feeling of isolation with diabetes, and to sort out and share some of what I was learning. It’s my “gold mine of informational nuggets,’ if you will…”

A full re-posting of Arthur’s guest post is below:

 

Breakthrough: The Discovery of Insulin and Other Medical Miracles

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Forbes.com: BREAKTHROUGH Creates “Vivid Images”

Physician and medical writer Peter Lipson gives praise to Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle on Forbes.com: 

 “[Breakthrough] successfully weaves together the personal struggles of the patients, doctors and scientists living and dying on the edge of one of medicine’s greatest discoveries.” 

“Cooper and Ainsberg create vivid images…”  

“[Breakthrough] relies heavily on primary historical sources and documents.” 

A reposting of the full article is below… 

Book Review: Breakthrough  

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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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