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50 Years Ago

Science Past from the issue of December 29, 1962

INSULIN SYNTHESIS SEEN — Synthesis of insulin for the first time may be realized early in 1963…. Dr.  Panayotis G. Katsoyannis [of the University of Pittsburgh] is hopeful  that the last problems are about to be  solved in synthesis of the life-saving protein-hormone important to  diabetic patients. Chinese scientists, either  in Shanghai or Peking, are believed to be working on the insulin-B chain containing  30 amino acid molecules that when joined with the A chain (containing 21 amino acid molecules) will produce  insulin. Spurred by competition, Dr. Katsoyannis is working hard to arrive  first at the point of synthesis. Insulin now is obtained from purified material  taken from the pancreas glands of slaughtered cattle, sheep and pigs.

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