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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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No Holds Barred
26 January 2000 6:00 pm
Researchers are planning to debate a controversial theory on the origin of AIDS. The United Kingdom's Royal Society will host a meeting in London in May to explore the contentious idea that HIV entered humans through a contaminated polio vaccine tested in Africa in the 1950s. The thesis, which received a flurry of attention in 1992 following an article in Rolling Stone, last year became a hot topic again when British journalist Edward Hooper published The River, a weighty tome on the subject.
The meeting, proposed by Simon Wain-Hobson, an AIDS researcher at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, will examine the notion that HIV or one of its simian cousins infected the primate cells used to manufacture an oral polio vaccine developed by Hilary Koprowski, then head of the Philadelphia-based Wistar Institute. An independent scientific panel convened by Wistar concluded in 1992 that there was an "extremely low" probability that the theory was correct, but Hooper and other critics say the panel failed to make a convincing case.
Wain-Hobson hopes that if Hooper, Koprowski, and other key players agree to attend the meeting, they can clarify the scientific issues. "Discussion is better than a year's worth of invective delivered at arm's length," Wain-Hobson says.