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Bringing a lawsuit against the federal government


Having WI-38 confiscated by the government
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
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I should say also that at that time, I was... I had been invited to present a paper at a conference on aging, an international conference on aging in Israel, when this exploded. In my absence on this trip to Israel, the NIH [National Institutes of Health] had arranged for people to come to my laboratory in my absence and remove and confiscate all of the ampules of WI-38. And they took them to the American Type Culture Collection, which is a storage facility for similar ampoules, and that was another shock, that these ampoules should be confiscated by the government.

So my trip to Israel was not as pleasant as I hoped it would be. I went with my wife and two of my children.

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: Israel, National Institutes of Health, American Type Culture Collection

Duration: 50 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2013

Date story went live: 14 June 2013