The Vaccine Race: How Scientists Used Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses

The Vaccine Race: How Scientists Used Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses

作者 : Meredith Wadman

出版社 : Doubleday

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定價 : NT 770

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內容簡介


拯救無數生命的疫苗之戰!從細胞生物學的偉大突破,發現史上最重要的疫苗

60年代後期有成千上萬的孩童因為母親在懷孕時期感染麻疹而造成身體缺陷,其中最致命的病毒就是德國麻疹,當時沒有任何疫苗,也無人知道病毒是如何侵害胎兒。直到1962年,一位生物學家從流產的胎兒體內擷取細胞組織,進而製作成疫苗來抵抗麻疹及其他兒童疾病。二年後疫苗壓倒性的控制疫情擴散,進而保障了1.5億人民的生命。因為體內的抗體也進而使人們有效免於小兒麻痺、狂犬病、水痘、麻疹、A型肝炎、帶狀皰疹及腺病毒等疾病。

然而作者Meredith Wadman在本書中要探討的不僅是疫苗的發明,同時還有許多因素阻擾著醫學的發展與進步,例如政治及商業考量。許多懷孕婦女艱難的抵抗麻疹侵襲,許多嬰兒、囚犯、孤兒及智能障礙者都成為疫苗實驗的一份子。這場疫苗之戰雖然拯救生命,也同樣造就許多家庭的破碎,最真實的醫學真相,絕對讓你大呼驚奇。 

In 1962, Leonard Hayflick created and then froze roughly 800 tiny ampules of what he dubbed WI-38 cells. Each petite glass vial contained between 1.5 million and 2 million cells. Each cell in each vial, once thawed, had the capacity to divide another 40 times. Hayflick had created a supply of cells that, for practical purposes, was almost infinite.
Hayflick’s WI-38 cells would become the first normal, non-cancerous cells available in virtually unlimited quantities to scientists, and, as a result, the best-characterized normal cells available to this day.

They would become the basis for vaccines that have immunized hundreds of millions of people worldwide against polio, rubella, rabies, chicken pox, and measles. Today approximately two billion people have directly benefitted from the use of WI-38 and other cell strains created using Hayflick’s methods.WI-38 would also spawn a lifetime feud between Hayflick and his superiors at the Wistar, and an epochal fight with the US government, first over whether the cells were safe to use to make vaccines and then over who owned them.

The Cells and the Scientist combines scientific discovery, rivalry, greed and drama; abortion and vaccine politics; and timely questions about the tradeoff between socially beneficial medical research and the rights of individuals. Remarkably, both Leonard Hayflick and the 83-year-old mother of the fetus that gave rise to WI-38 are still alive. The mother lives near Stockholm. She was not asked permission for the use of her fetus and has never earned a penny from the contribution.

The tale of WI-38 is a profoundly human one, laced with real effects on untold numbers of lives. Consider this irony: cells derived from an aborted fetus have prevented tens of millions of miscarriages that otherwise would have been caused by the rubella virus, which infects foetuses in the womb.

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