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To understand it, we went back almost 100 years and dug up a story of sweaty Canadian researchers — swatting away flies and doing business with probable dog-nappers, on the way to a Nobel Prize… and a deal with corporate pharma.
We also found hopeful signs out there today, including the folks at the Open Insulin Project in Oakland, California, who are working on their own recipe for insulin, which they hope to share as widely as possible.
If it sounds crazy — well, we talked with a listener who has hacked together an artificial pancreas from outdated equipment, raw computer parts, and open-source software, all with the help of her fellow “rogue, cowboy hackers,” who are growing in number. So, you never know.
Meanwhile, activists with T1 International — an advocacy group run by Type 1 diabetics — are lobbying Congress, like the woman who leads off our story.
They’re also organizing “caravans to Canada” (as our colleagues at Kaiser Health News recently documented with PBS News Hour)
You will find a TON of details, links and resources in our newsletter. We’ve been told that even the sign-up process is pretty entertaining.