By Michael Gold
Booklet through Gold, Michael
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Extra info for A conspiracy of cells: one woman's immortal legacy and the medical scandal it caused
Mary cut away the decaying, brown tissue around the edges and sliced the remaining chunk into tiny cubes . She pipetted a few drops of chicken plasma into several roller tubes and placed four cubes of tissue in each tube. She waited five minutes for the plasma to stiffen into a clot, and then added the rest of the feeding solution. Fi nally, she placed the tubes into a rolling rack inside the laboratory 's incubator. Had Mary been staring through the glass doors of the incubator, she wouldn't have seen the early signs of life.
An investigator who needed a normal monkey cell for his experiments could no longer be sure he wasn't working on a tumor cell from a human larynx. How could he in terpret results when he couldn't even say what he had been experimenting on? 25 26 A Conspi racy of Cel l s The reasons for the mess were obvious to the old guard. In a word these new people were sloppy. They were probably mislabeling cultures. Hell, they were prob ably using the same pipettes to feed different cultures, in advertently picking up a few cells out of one dish and dropping them into another.
When Parks heard the news, he wrote to the jour nal's editor, gently recommending that he publish some form of Nelson-Rees 's paper. The editor sent a note to Nelson-Rees saying that having thought about it further he "would not be averse" to publishing a much shorter version of the report. He would not be averse. Nelson-Rees was not the sort of fellow to tell anyone to roll up a manuscript and stuff it, but he came close to making the suggestion to the editor of The Journal of Virology. Seething, he withdrew the paper and sent it to The Journal of the Na tional Can cer Institu te.
A conspiracy of cells: one woman's immortal legacy and the medical scandal it caused by Michael Gold