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These investigations showed no evidence of the presence of chimpanzees in Bujumbura and no evidence for removal of kidneys from chimps at that site; and evidence was found that contradicted the assertion of vaccine manufacture at veterinary laboratories.Therefore, the new wild allegations are also false.) As recounted above, there is no mystery about either the name or the origin of the CHAT strain, which is called the source of the HIV-1 group M epidemic by claims that CHAT was produced in cultures of chimpanzee kidney cells, rather than cultures of macaque kidney cells, and that this occurred in Philadelphia, in Belgium, or in the Congo itself.Many of the protagonists of the controversy were present at that meeting, and this article is a detailed version of the paper I gave at that conference in which both of the major assertions of added new charges to those in the book, now saying that the kidneys of chimpanzee were excised in Bujumbura [Burundi] and sent to 2 veterinary laboratories in Rwanda and the Belgian Congo, where cultures were performed to provide cell substrate for manufacture of CHAT virus.

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Testimony by eyewitnesses, historical documents of the time, epidemiological analysis, and analysis of ancillary phylogenetic, virological, and polymerase chain reaction data all indicate that this hypothesis is false.

Poliomyelitis is rapidly disappearing from the world, thanks in large part to the widespread use of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) strains developed by Albert Sabin.

Because African green monkeys are known to carry simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), contamination of the cultures was postulated to be the source of HIV-1.

However, SIVagm is too distant from HIV-1 to have been its origin.

Most important, Barbara Cohen, the technician who opened Koprowski's polio laboratory at Wistar, who was in charge of that laboratory during the entire period, and who made all of the vaccine produced at Wistar, completely denies the existence of any chimpanzee cells in the Wistar laboratory.

In the following notarized statement dated 15 November 1999, she writes: In addition, I have located all the people still alive who were in the Koprowski polio laboratory from 1957 through 1960. These workers all deny that chimpanzee kidneys or cells were present in the laboratory. Fritz Deinhardt came to the Congo in late 1957 and early 1958 to attempt infection of chimpanzees with human hepatitis viruses.In addition, 2 people involved in the manufacture of CHAT at Wyeth Laboratories, Dr. Howard Tint (personal communications) both deny that chimpanzee cells were ever used at Wyeth. In the search for a kidney cell culture system for growing hepatitis virus, he had 6 kidneys from chimpanzees sent to his laboratory at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for preparation of kidney cell cultures [13]. Joseph Stokes Jr., chief pediatrician at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was associated with the vaccine trials in New Jersey, the hepatitis work was carried out exclusively at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia research laboratory headed by Werner Henle, which was then located in another part of Philadelphia.There is absolutely no evidence for the assertion that chimpanzee kidneys also found their way to Wistar.At the time, Sabin was preparing for mass vaccination campaigns in what was then the Soviet Union.In 1992, a journalist wrote a story in a popular magazine suggesting that CHAT had been made in cultures of African green monkey kidney cells [10].The latter strain concerns us here, for in 1999, a British journalist published a book called [4], which proposed the hypothesis that CHAT had been produced in cells from chimpanzees that were contaminated with the simian precursor of HIV type 1 (HIV-1) group M, the major agent of the AIDS epidemic. For a proper understanding of the events recalled in this article, the state of polio vaccine development in the late 1950s is germane.

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