These things I learn

Today's lesson I learned is a slight history of insulin.

Working today, I filled a prescription for Novolin N which had a curious word bolded on the front, "Human." I asked Tom, the pharmacist, "Why did a product that was clearly for humans need to be labeled 'human'? Is there some specific animal insulin or...?" "No no.." he replied.

Up until around 1991, the pharmacuetical industry used animal insulin injected into humans. Mostly from farm animals such as cows and pigs. It worked, but it wasn't perfect. Numerous times, the diabetic's body would attack parts of the insulin that didn't match with our DNA resulting in an unsightly pocket underneath the skin.

With advancements of cloning, insulin culturers began to grow human bacteria and used them to produce actual human insulin. This is the insulin we know and use today to help balance levels within diabetics, and is why the box specifically said Human on it, rather than Pig or Horse.

The new insulin is a perfect match to our DNA structure with no side effects from the cloning process. So, they've been steadily phasing out the old barnyard insulin for the past decade or so since the cloned insulin is nearly flawless.

Everyday advancement in the pharmacuetical industry is made, as chemical compounds in drugs are refined and condensed.