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The Hayflick limit


The global distribution of WI-38
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
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The subsequent events centred around all of the activities necessary to have the cells distributed for use. The WHO funded me to visit several countries in Europe and also to establish another bank of cells in Moscow for distribution among Iron Curtain countries, which was not easy to do, through Frank Perkins' WI-38 repository at MRC in London. Frank distributed cultures within the UK and within Western European countries, and also South America as well as Mexico, I should say.

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: World Health Organization, Frank Perkins

Duration: 56 seconds

Date story recorded: July 2011

Date story went live: 08 August 2012