Coinciding with World Diabetes Day, Monday’s Google doodle is an homage to the Canadian scientist Sir Frederick Banting. Banting pioneered the usage of insulin to treat patients suffering from diabetes back in 1922. For his important discovery, the Canadian scientist received the Nobel Prize in his field a year later. Today would mark his 125th birthday, although Banting himself died in an untimely plane crash at 49.
Diabetes remains a serious global issue: the World Health Organization reported that the percentage of people suffering from the disease has almost doubled since 1980, up to 8.5% of the adult population. Blindness, kidney failure, lower limb amputation, and premature death are all potential effects of diabetes. Insulin, a hormone normally produced in the pancreas, treats the disease by helping the body better process the energy found in carbohydrates. For those diagnosed with Type I diabetes, the body does not produce insulin naturally. For Type II sufferers, in which there’s an insufficient amount of insulin, sugar consumption is often a primary driver.