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Book and Media Reviews |

The Discovery of Insulin: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition

A. Mark Clarfield, MD, FRCPC, Reviewer
JAMA. 2009;301(15):1607-1608. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.502.
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Every schoolchild in Canada—particularly in the Toronto in which I grew up—knows that Banting and Best discovered insulin. Together at the University of Toronto, with very few resources and against terrific odds, they made a singularly great discovery that has saved the lives of millions over the years. But Michael Bliss, a renowned medical historian at this same university and biographer of both Osler and Cushing, debunks this myth and tells the true story in a most engaging manner. In fact, the book is so interesting and entertaining that it reads like a cross between a sober Greek tragedy and a riveting detective story.

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Frederick G. Banting, recipient of the Nobel Prize for the discovery of insulin. Photographer and date unknown. Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

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