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Friday, February 5, 2016

Importance of Research

Hormones are chemicals that are produced in different organs that control the various functions of the body. There is gland called pituitary at the base of the brain. The gland is very small, but it is an extremely important gland. It produces growth hormones that controls the growth of the body. 

The gland is so important that in the skull it is protected by four bones to avoid any damage to the organ. There are people who grow exceptionally tall and also keep growing taller after 21. It is found that this is caused due to tumour in the pituitary gland, that results in overproduction of growth hormone. 

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. It is an extremely important hormone. It plays a vital role in the metabolism of carbohydrates in the body. The absence of the this hormone leads to diabetes. Diabetes was once so dangerous that before the invention of insulin, occurrence of diabetes meant death. 

After the discovery the insulin, the challenge was to extract the hormone. The pancreas produces digestive juices, Fredrick Banting figured out that if the pancreatic duct was blocked then the parts of pancreas that produced this juices would stop functioning and then one would be left with insulin. This was tried on a dog, and insulin was extracted from the pancreas of the dog.

The dog was kept alive for a few months with the extract. Later the experiment was tried on calves, whose pancreas were not completely developed yet. The got positive results. Then they purified the extract and went for their first clinical trial.  

This insulin was tried on a patient Leonard Thompson. He was admitted in a hospital and he was so pale that he was thought off as a famine victim. The first administration of insulin lead to severe allergic reactions since the extract was still not pure enough. 12 days later after refining the extract a second dose was injected to the patient. The patient showed remarkable improvement in his condition. Thompson survived for many more years till the age of 27, he died of pneumonia. 

The above examples show the importance of research in the field of science in general. It is research into the functioning of human body that helped us figure out how exactly the body works. When scientists knew how the body works, they figured out ways  to find cures when the functioning of some organ is not proper. 

The average lifespan of human beings have increased due to increase in the knowledge of the human body and developments in the field of medicine. This is one of the reasons why governments and businesses should invest in research. The above examples are from medicine but it applies for all other branches of science as well. 

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