Medical Examiner

Dr. Banting’s Miracle Drug

A hundred years ago, a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes meant certain death for children. Insulin changed that—and spurred a powerful myth.

This video is part of a series on diabetes produced by the Science Communication Lab. It’s published here in partnership with Slate.

Warning: the video above contains graphic images of sick children.

Just 100 years ago, Type 1 diabetes meant certain death for millions of children. The discovery of insulin in the early 1920s changed all that—but it also helped fuel a powerful myth that still affects how we see science today. “Dr. Banting’s Miracle Drug,” the short documentary above, peels back the layers of this myth and reveals what it really takes to achieve a scientific breakthrough.

Previously in this series: Fat is a Complex Organ, As Essential to Human Life As the Heart or Liver. Why Do We Hate It?