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An unexpected co-author


Identifying the etiological agent of human primary atypical pneumonia
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
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Well, I didn't have time to try this... this technique because of an incredible amount of time I was spending on the human diploid cell story. But I knew that there was a colleague at NIH and another institute different from Bob Chanock's who was also an expert in mycoplasmology and I caught him on the phone and I told him. His name was Mike, Michael Barile, and I said to Mike, 'Mike, do me a favour, I want to put Bob Chanock in touch with you. Here are the reasons why. Teach him how to take the colonies off the agar and put them on a glass slide because we want to the following. And explained what we intended to do.' 'Oh, sure', he said. And indeed he did it. That will be important a little later.

And to complete that part of the story which I think I should do at this time, we did indeed prove by that technique and some other approaches that my isolation was a new mycoplasma never seen before, and b) it indeed fluoresced to several paired sera acute and convalescent from an equivalent number of patients which came close to positive proof that this was the etiological agent of human primary atypical pneumonia.

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: National Institute of Health, Robert Chanock, Michael Barile

Duration: 1 minute, 43 seconds

Date story recorded: July 2011

Date story went live: 08 August 2012