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Boardworks High School Science Diabetes

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1 Boardworks High School Science Diabetes

2 Boardworks High School Science Diabetes
What is diabetes? Boardworks High School Science Diabetes Some people are unable to regulate their blood glucose levels because their pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin. This is called diabetes. The lack of insulin means that blood glucose levels can rise dangerously high after eating, which can cause cell damage. Symptoms of diabetes develop quickly and can be severe. Initial symptoms include: increased thirst, hunger and production of urine loss of weight, tiredness and nausea. Later symptoms include vomiting and abdominal pain. If untreated, diabetes can lead to coma and even death.

3 How is diabetes treated?
Boardworks High School Science Diabetes People with diabetes have to inject themselves with insulin before eating to keep their blood glucose at a safe level. Eating small amounts at regular intervals and avoiding eating sugar is also important. This helps to reduce the peaks in blood glucose levels. Photo credit: © 2007 Jupiterimages Corporation

4 Dogs sacrificed to save human lives
Boardworks High School Science Diabetes Insulin treatment was discovered by the Canadian surgeon Frederick Banting and medical student Charles Best. In 1921, they removed the pancreas from dogs so that they became diabetic. The diabetic dogs were then injected with an extract from a healthy dog’s pancreas, and their blood glucose levels returned to normal. One dog, Marjorie, was kept alive for 70 days with regular injections. Photo credit: Science Photo Library Charles Best (left) and Frederick Banting (right), Canadian physiologists and co-discoverers of the hormone insulin, standing with the first dog kept alive by insulin injections following the removal of its pancreas. In 1921, Banting ( ) devised a method of obtaining insulin, the hormone found in the pancreas and thought to be connected with diabetes mellitus. He carried out his research with an assistant, Best ( ). In 1922, Banting and Best isolated the hormone insulin and proved its connection with diabetes. The following year, Banting won the Nobel prize. Banting shared the prize with Best, who Banting felt had been cheated. What conclusions could they draw from this?

5 Boardworks High School Science Diabetes
Isolating insulin Boardworks High School Science Diabetes Banting and Best worked with biochemist James B Collip to purify a pancreas extract from cattle, finally obtaining a purer form of insulin. The first human to be treated with insulin was the teenager Leonard Thompson in He made a dramatic recovery. Many other patients were treated and their lives were saved. Insulin was initially obtained from cattle and pigs, but now it is made by genetically-engineered bacteria, which contain the human gene for insulin.

6 Boardworks High School Science Diabetes
Animal testing Boardworks High School Science Diabetes Teacher notes This voting activity enables the individual opinions of the class to be represented graphically. It could be used as a precursor to a debate on the use of animals in medical (and non-medical) research.

7 Complete the sentences – insulin
Boardworks High School Science Diabetes Teacher notes This completing sentences activity could be used as a review exercise on insulin and blood glucose regulation. Students could be asked to write down the missing words in their books and the activity could be concluded by completion on the interactive whiteboard.


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