Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Two scientists have been awarded a shared $0.7M for discovering the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the virus that causes AIDS. The award ends a longstanding dispute over who between Luc Montaggnier and Francoise Barre-Sinoussi discovered the virus in the early 1980s. They had both previously accused each other of working with contaminated samples. But now the y seem to have let bygones be bygones.

The French scientists are credited for discovering that the virus infects and kills immune cells called lymphocytes from both diseased and healthy people. That knowledge formed the basis for other researchers to understand how HIV damages the human body. It also made possible the design of life-prolonging drugs. Good contribution.

But I guess there is one thing that they need to tell us more about - what was that about contaminated samples?

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