Medical Discoveries In The 1920s
During the 1920s there were two important medical discoveries that changed the face of medicine today: 1) Penicillin and 2) Insulin. They both play as key factors in the midicinal industry during the 1920s.
Penicillin (An antibiotic or group of antibiotics produced naturally by certain blue molds) was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. When returning to his lab Alexander Fleming noted that one of his experimental trays produced a fungal colony, and that the bacterial colonies around the fungus were transparent, because their cells were disintegrating. He then realized that he can use the fungi to control bacteria. Penicillin serves as an antibiotic that breaks down and kill bacteria to treat infections. Although penicillin was not discovered in Canada but in London England, it saved many people's lives all around the globe and was a major contribution to the medical society.After the discovery people refered to it as a miracle discovery, making penicillin one of the most important medical discoveries in history.
Sir Frederick Banting (right) and his assistant Charles Best (left) standing with the dog that they preformed expiriments on to discover insulin.
Insulin (An animal-derived or synthetic form of this substance used to treat diabetes) was discovered by Sir Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best in 1922. Diabetes is a dibilitating illness caused by the body's inability to metabolize food. They believed that the pancreas might hold the key to curing diabetes. Banting and Best started their research using dogs to experiment with. They would remove the dogs pancreas causing high blood sugar (symptom of diabetes) then inject the fluids (insulin) that they had removed from the dog back into the dog. The result was a pleasent sight as the dogs blood sugar lowered. This was evidence that the pancreas held the treatment to the illness. A conference in Washington said the discovery as “one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine." making it an important innovation in medicine during the 1920s.