Insulin is a hormone, a simple protein containing 51 amino acids. We used to isolate it from Cows and Pig pancreases. We had to purify it and bottle it.
Enzymes are made by stringing together between 100 and 1,000 amino acids in a very specific and unique order.
Breaking molecules apart and putting molecules together is what enzymes do, and there is a specific enzyme for each chemical reaction needed to make the cell work properly. Enzymes do all of the work inside cells.
examples of enzymes are maltase, amylase, lactase, lysozyme and sucrase. Almost all enzymes are proteins.
Some Amino Acids include Glycine and Alanine, Tryptophan and Lysine.
There are about 20 of them in human bodies.
In 1978, scientists at the Biotechnology Company Genentech cloned the gene for Human Insulin.
They used a viral bacteriophage to attack a cell of E.coli, converting it into a TINY insulin-producing bacteria. That single-celled creature not only exudes insulin, it also replicates itself every 20 minutes as long as you feed it sugar & agar.
E. coli cells are about 100th the size of human cells, (about a micron long and one-tenth of a micron wide)
Genentech licensed the human insulin technology to the Eli Lilly corporation, where it was named "Humulin" or Recombinant Human Insulin. In 1982, human insulin became the first recombinant DNA drug approved by FDA. Today, Humulin is made in Indianapolis in gigantic fermentation vats, 4 stories high and filled with bacteria. From this soupy bacteria/agar/sugar/insulin mess, pharmaceutical companies can isolate pure human insulin.
To make proteins, `machines' known as ribosomes string together amino acids into long, linear chains. Like shoelaces, these chains loop about each other in a variety of ways (i.e., they fold). But, as with a shoelace, only one of these many ways allows the protein to function properly. Yet lack of function is not always the worst scenario. For just as a hopelessly knotted shoelace could be worse than one that won't stay tied, too much of a misfolded protein could be worse than too little of a normally folded one. This is because a misfolded protein can actually poison the cells around it.
If you stumble onto some research or discovery that seems like it could solve one of the world's big problems, for heaven's sake pursue it. Unless, you know, it is herbalife.