Making the Unit of Insulin: Standards, Clinical Work, and Industry, 1920-1925

  title={Making the Unit of Insulin: Standards, Clinical Work, and Industry, 1920-1925},
  author={Christian Sinding},
  journal={Bulletin of the History of Medicine},
  pages={231 - 270}
  • C. Sinding
  • Published 1 June 2002
  • Political Science
  • Bulletin of the History of Medicine
The standardization of insulin is generally considered by historians to have been a process conducted by physiologists under the direction of Henry Dale. This article shows that it actually involved many actors and began with the earliest administration to patients in Canada and the United States. During this first phase, the drug company Eli Lilly also contributed actively to the standardization, under the scientific direction of George Clowes. This is not to undermine the role of Dale, whose… 
‘Patenting in the public interest:’ administration of insulin patents by the University of Toronto
Whereas the norms of the academic world and medical ethics prohibited academics and doctors from applying for patents on medical inventions, the University of Toronto decided in 1922 to file a patent
One Hundred Years of Insulin
The 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Canadian physician Frederick Grant Banting (1891-1941) and Scottish biochemist and physiologist John James Macleod (1876-1935)
“In the Course of Routine Analysis”: Re-Envisioning Research in State Departments of Health, 1920–1940
It is argued that the research conducted in DOH laboratories to provide Progressive Era public health officials with accurate and efficient tools to control syphilis and other infectious diseases required significant innovation, international cooperation, and scientific creativity from scientists deeply engaged in multiple research projects.
HbA1c: changing units, changing minds – mission accomplished?
  • D. Levy
  • Medicine, Political Science
  • 2013
The case for a universal reference standard for glycated haemoglobin is accepted, and after many years (1995–2010) this has now been achieved through the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization
The 'experimental stable' of the BCG vaccine: safety, efficacy, proof, and standards, 1921-1933.
  • C. Bonah
  • Engineering
    Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences
  • 2005
The emergence of clinical practice guidelines.
The spread of guidelines represents a new regulation of medical care resulting from a confluence of circumstances that mobilized many different groups, related to the spread of standardization within medicine and especially in research, public health, and large bureaucratic health care organizations.
Growth hormone, enhancement and the pharmaceuticalisation of short stature.
  • M. Morrison
  • Medicine, Biology
    Social science & medicine
  • 2015
Introduction: Managing diabetes, managing medicine
The management of diabetes mellitus was one area of chronic disease care that the contract sought to improve, and strong policy networks had been established around the condition by the early 1990s, and lobbyists drew government attention to diabetes’ growing financial and human costs.
Keeping Modern in Medicine: Pharmaceutical Promotion and Physician Education in Postwar America
Tracing the issue from the advent of the wonder drugs through today’s concerns regarding formal CME, it is documented how and why the pharmaceutical industry was allowed to develop and maintain the central role it now plays within postgraduate medical education and prescribing practice.


Historical review of the analytical control of insulin.
Assays based on the physico-chemical properties of insulin have been developed in the last 20 years, involving the use notably of chromatographic and electrophoretic techniques, which have been invaluable in assessing the purity of insulin by revealing the presence of any associated polypeptides that could give rise to unwanted immunological responses in man.
The Discovery of Insulin
In a brilliant, definitive history of one of the most significant and controversial medical events of modern times, award-winning historian Michael Bliss brings to light a bizarre clash of scientific personalities over the allotment of credit for the discovery of insulin.
The Unit of Insulin
It was apparent that rabbits responded with marked variability to equal dosages of insulin, and rabbit restrictions were introduced, and the term "unit" was frequently qualified and use was made of the terms "rabbit unit" and "mouse unit," the former being the smallest dosage which lowered the blood sugar of rabbits to 0.045 per cent.
Reviews: Medicine and Health-The Progress of Experiment: Science and Therapeutic Reform in the United States, 1900-1990
Part I. of Of Institutions and Character: The Era of Organisational Reform: A rational therapeutics, or the Triumph of Method: Managing chance.
The invisible industrialist : manufactures and the production of scientific knowledge
Notes on the Contributors General Introduction PART 1: TOOLS AND RESEARCH MATERIALS, THE INDUSTRIALIST AS PRODUCER Introduction Part 1 An Old Hand in a New System: Brewing Culture in Jame's Joule
On the Normal and the Pathological
A critical examination of certain concepts: the normal, anomaly, and disease the normal and the experimental, as well as a new concept in pathology: error.
Henry Hallett Dale, 1875-1968
  • W. Feldberg
  • History
    Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society
  • 1970
Dale had no knowledge of any ancestors or relatives who had any kind of contact with science. An amusing but cranky cousin of Dale’s father, R. M. Dale, wasted much time in trying to fake an
The Values of Precision
"The Values of Precision" examines how exactitude has come to occupy such a prominent place in Western culture. What has been the value of numerical values? Beginning with the late eighteenth century
Triangulating Clinical and Basic Research: British Localizationists, 1870–1906
  • S. L. Star
  • Computer Science
    History of science; an annual review of literature, research and teaching
  • 1986
When researchers draw on evidence from different realms to describe the same phenomenon, they are triangulating with different measures; they are trying to eliminate or correct for the biases inherent in a single point of view.
The History of Science and the Sciences of Medicine
Considerer que la pratique de la medecine fait partie de l'histoire de la medecine, et non de l'histoire des sciences, n'est pas une theorie soutenable, car l'histoire de la medecine est une histoire