Storing insulin

By | 13 August, 2009

Anyone who has read an account of Banting and Best’s discovery of insulin will know that they worked their guts out to come up with a cure for us diabetic hoards. Many dogs gave their lives for diabetic research – having their pancreases ligated allowing their pancreases to atrophy – leading to their untimely and grisly deaths.

James Collip worked himself almost to madness to purify the secretions Banting and Best made, while at the same time JJR Macleod laboured tirelessly with the research laboratories at Eli Lilly to make insulin available on a scale that made it commercially viable and available to grateful diabetics the world around. For their efforts Banting and Macleod won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1923.

Since then researchers and pharmaceutical companies have poured millions of pounds and countless hours of work into new insulin analogs, so creating wondrous new insulins including technically advanced biosynthetic human recombinant analogues and shifted isoelectric point insulins.

Modern insulin – the culmination of years of research and labour and sweat and tears – is now available in plentiful supply at a reasonably affordable price throughout most of the world.

So what do we do with it when we get it?

Yes, that’s right, shove it in the fridge in an old cheese box next to a jar of mouldy pickled onions and some posh French mustard.

Poor old Banting must be turning in his grave.

Some pickled onions. And some insulin in Tim's fridge

Some pickled onions. And some insulin in Tim

14 thoughts on “Storing insulin

  1. Mark

    Strange… I didn’t see any beer or sausages in that photo. Am I missing something? πŸ˜€

  2. Ckoei

    French mustard? Is it some kind of refined Ultratard as slow as a snail? I thought you used Lantus. (And what was the name of that 1st lucky piddle pooch to respond to treatment?)

  3. Tim

    Ckoei(And what was the name of that 1st lucky piddle pooch to respond to treatment?)

    Off the the top of my head it was called Marjorie

  4. Lili

    So you’re saying your UK refrigerators don’t have a butter compartment?

  5. Tim

    @Lili Along with our Communist healthcare system, one of the many things lacking about Britain is the dearth of fridge butter compartments! Bah!

  6. Tim Post author

    I’ve just looked at this article again and I still have those pickled onions in my fridge – a year after said picture was taken. Yum!

  7. Annette A

    You don’t like pickled onions then? I lurve anything in vinegar – wouldn’t last in my fridge for a week. (And, in danger of this becoming a cross-thread reply, apparently pickles etc act to slow down digestion, so if you have a lot of chutney in your cheese sarnie, you need to give less/spread out more your insulin. Never found it myself, but this si the word on the street. And yes, I must live on a very peculiar street if they’re discussing the delights of pickled onions on it.)

  8. Pam

    Surely the whole point of pickling something is to preserve it so that you don’t have to put it in the fridge. Get the damn thing out and make room for more sausages and beer, or even the odd wine box – oooh, contentious stuff.

  9. Tim Post author

    @chickalin – wine is hardly contentious on this site, every other user seems to be a complete pisshead πŸ˜‰ Certainly the Shoot Up nights out do demonstrate we like a glass or two or three…! πŸ˜€

  10. Pam

    Tim, it wasn’t so much the wine I thought might be contentious, but the box. However, I think you have cleared up the matter since it obviously seems it doesn’t matter what the wine comes in, so long as it comes. By the way, meant to ask how you got on at the Fringe – you obviously survived that, too.

  11. Tim Post author

    @chickalin – he he! I’ve actually been trying to rig up a wine box to my infusion set; but, sadly, so fr with limited success.

    We survived the Fringe too – nothing too amazing to report, but – also – we didn’t see anything particularly disastrous!

  12. Cecile

    @tim: Of course a wine box isn’t going to link up – didn’t you know Veo stands for Very extremely old and therefore it needs brandy, not wine (in France they call it the Vieux; it’s only compatible with cognac)

  13. Charlie

    Ooh, hadn’t thought of linking up a wine box.. do they not make them with luer locks on then?! I’d happily try in the interests of public knowledge to share with my ‘betic/alcoholic friends… I’ll report back shortly… I have a cheeky box of rosΓ© in the fridge happy to join the trial..


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