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Physical chemistry frustrates my concept for medium formulation


Failure of vaccine manufacturers to grow cell cultures
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
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Subsequent events included the fact that other people who read my papers began to try to repeat my work and, indeed, in many cases were successful, but in a lot of cases were unsuccessful. And that was a worry. In fact, many of the vaccine manufacturers were unsuccessful in the sense that they were unable to reproduce the number of population doublings that I was able to achieve in my laboratory. Their cells died or stopped dividing after the twentieth or fifteenth or thirtieth population doubling, after I supplied them with ampoules at the seventh PDL, standing for Population Doubling Level. And that was a big worry because scientists need to have their work reproduced and it seemed as though many people were unable to do that.

We later... I later learned that the probable reason for this was the materials that they were using to make their culture media. And that varied from lab to lab, from country to country. I was buying it from a commercial source in the United States, which was not available to people in Europe or else was too... far too expensive for them to purchase. This became a significant worry and halted people's activities for several months.

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: vaccine manufacturer, population doubling, PDL, culture medium

Duration: 1 minute, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: July 2011

Date story went live: 08 August 2012