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Opposition to my observations on monkey kidney cell cultures


The continuing debate about the cancer-causing properties of SV40
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
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That has been followed for many, many years in respect to whether those early vaccinees were in danger and the results have been equivocal. Books have been written about these events, scientists have fought each other in public about their interpretation of whether or not cancer incidents frequency... cancer incidences increased. The problem is that you don't know actually who received SV40 directly and you need... you would need to have records on many millions of people for a long period of time to discover whether the frequency of cancer occurring had in fact gone up, and we don't have that critical data. So, there's a lot of speculation.

So, I'll leave the matter there because this is a huge subject – books, as I said, have been written about it – and return to the story of the use of my cells, having mentioned this only to emphasise now the importance of moving away from primary monkey kidney, although I must say that that was a very difficult job, despite what I just described.

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: SV40, cancer, monkey kidney

Duration: 1 minute, 23 seconds

Date story recorded: July 2011

Date story went live: 08 August 2012