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Naming Mycoplasma pneumoniae


Receiving no credit for identifying Mycoplasma pneumoniae
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
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Another interesting anecdote is that one day after the publication appeared and the newspaper articles were written, of course I was identified as part of the... a member of the Wistar Institute... my laboratory door opened and in walked the director, Hilary Koprowski, with his right hand extended wanting to shake my right hand and to congratulate me on this discovery. Of course I couldn't help but recall his former entrance into my laboratory warning me not to work any more on the mycoplasmas, so there was some satisfaction in having Hilary come in and completely reverse his stand after the institute got an enormous amount of publicity because of this discovery.


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: The Wistar Institute, Hilary Koprowski

Duration: 53 seconds

Date story recorded: July 2011

Date story went live: 08 August 2012