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Francis Peyton Rous' review of our paper


The Journal of Experimental Medicine rejects our paper
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
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The paper was written, Hilary wrote the covering letter, submitted it to the Journal of Experimental Medicine and we waited several months. My recollection is that we waited about six months before we received – or, I should say Hilary received – the letter which, of course, was given to Paul and me. I still have the original letter.

The original letter went something along these lines: 'We apologise for the long delay in reviewing this paper occasioned by spring meetings' – meaning scientific meetings which these editors apparently attended – 'but we find the paper unacceptable for the following reasons.' And, although I can't quote the entire letter with accuracy, I think I can quote the salient two or three sentences.

Leonard Hayflick (b. 1928), the recipient of several research prizes and awards, including the 1991 Sandoz Prize for Gerontological Research, is known for his research in cell biology, virus vaccine development, and mycoplasmology. He also has studied the ageing process for more than thirty years. Hayflick is known for discovering that human cells divide for a limited number of times in vitro (refuting the contention by Alexis Carrel that normal body cells are immortal), which is known as the Hayflick limit, as well as developing the first normal human diploid cell strains for studies on human ageing and for research use throughout the world. He also made the first oral polio vaccine produced in a continuously propogated cell strain - work which contributed to significant virus vaccine development.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Journal of Experimental Medicine, Hilary Koprowski, Paul Moorhead

Duration: 1 minute, 2 seconds

Date story recorded: July 2011

Date story went live: 08 August 2012