The Battle For The Key To Modern Vaccines

The Battle For The Key To Modern Vaccines.

This is a story that not many have heard, but nearly all of us who had been vaccinated possibly owe our lives to the cells’ owner and developers. WI-38 is a diploid human cell culture line composed of fibroblasts derived from lung tissue of an aborted white (caucasian) female fetus. The cell line isolated by Leonard Hayflick and Paul Moorhead in the 1960s, has been used extensively in scientific research, with applications ranging from developing important theories in molecular biology to the production of many types of vaccines. The contributions from this cell line on research has been credited with saving the lives of millions of people. Observations of similar cell lines led to the discovery that cells would gradually experience signs of senescence as they divided, first slowing and then stopping division altogether. This finding would later be known as the Hayflick limit, which indicated that normal human cells could only undergo a limited number of divisions, and later contributed to the discovery of the biological roles of telomeres. However, during this period of research, the team also discovered that if cells were properly stored in a freezer, cells would remain viable and could provide enormous numbers of cells for research purposes. Based on this, Hayflick was given another line of fetal stem cells to try to preserve and duplicate using this method. Researchers in labs across the globe have since used WI-38 in their discoveries, most notably in the development of vaccines. Over a billion vaccine doses worldwide can be traced to work done on WI-38, covering conditions including measles and rubella, Adenovirus, MMR, Varicella and Zoster virus.

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