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December 3, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(23):1969. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690230053015

The brilliant achievement of Banting, Best, Macleod and Collip in the preparation of insulin made an instantaneous appeal as a beneficent help to mankind. The investigation not only threw light into dark places of scientific thought but also restored life to the dying. To many persons, such accomplishments are regarded merely as the flashes of genius—strokes out of a clear sky. Those who are familiar with the ways of research recognize better, however, that great and small discoveries alike usually arise from adequate preparation. Scientific achievement is not created de novo; it is reared on the foundations that have been securely laid in past endeavor, itself often exceedingly prolonged and painstaking.

What this means in the case of the pancreatic hormone has been pointed out by Abel,1 the distinguished chemical worker who has recently succeeded in preparing insulin for the first time in crystalline condition. He has designated the