- One of the most remarkable recent discoveries about the
cells of the human body is that we are composed primary of germs! Unbelievably,
there are 10 times as many bacterial cells in the body as there are human
cells. In addition, much of our DNA is composed of viral remnants, leading
New Scientist writer Frank Ryan to report, "I, virus: Why you're only
- In health, the relationship between microbes and the
body is symbiotic, which is the benign co-existence of microbial and human
cells for the benefit of both. However, when the delicate balance between
microbes and man becomes disturbed , illness may result. There is also
growing evidence that the germs we carry may be implicated in cancer and
chronic diseases. Despite all this new research, most physicians do not
believe these symbiotic bacteria play any role in the development chronic
disease and cancer.
- What has all this to do with cancer and vaccine research
conducted over the last half-century? The answer is a question: Could cancer
virus and vaccine experimentation, which utilizes live cells of human and
animal origin, be spreading viruses and bacteria between various species?
Could such experimentation be related to new emerging diseases and viruses
that are erupting in man? Or to the increasing concern and controversy
over vaccine-induced human illness? Or to contamination of HeLa cells (pronounced
hee-lah), the widely-used experimental cancer cells that grow in cancer
and vaccine laboratories like weeds?
- Cancer and virus research and "immortal"
- The history of human tissue cell culture began with Henrietta
Lacks, a young black woman from Baltimore, who died from a highly malignant
cervical cancer in 1951. Despite radiation and surgery, her tumor spread
rapidly. Within eight months she was dead, at age 31. But part of Henrietta's
cancer remained alive. At surgery, a few pieces of her tumor were donated
to a laboratory specializing in tissue cell culture. In those days, this
was a frustrating business. Most attempts to grow human cells outside the
body failed. Rarely, a few cells would thrive for a while, and then die
- Henrietta's cells were kept alive by feeding them a concoction
more like a witch's brew that a lab recipe for cell culture. Nevertheless,
the success of the recipe heralded a new age of modern virology. As chronicled
by Michael Gold, A Conspiracy of Cells (1986), the laboratory concoction
- 1. Blood from human placenta. (The placenta, which nurtures
the developing fetus, contains powerful hormones and a host of viruses
and bacteria, as yet not fully investigated.)
- 2. Beef embryo extract (the ground-up remains of a three-week-old
unborn cattle embryo.
- 3. Fresh chicken plasma obtained from the blood of a
live chicken heart.
- For some unknown reason, Henrietta's cancer cells continued
to grow vigorously. The cells did not age. Instead, if fed properly they
could live and multiply indefinitely. Amazingly, her new tissue culture
"cell line" proved to be "immortal." These malignant
cells became the first successful human tissue culture cell line in medical
history-the now famous HeLa cell line commemorating the legendary HEnrietta
- (Divide and Conquer A HeLa cell splitting
into two new cells. The green spots are chromosomes.Courtesy Paul D. Andrews)
- Gold claims the cell line brought revolutionary changes
(as well as havoc) into the field of cancer virus research. Viruses could
be now seeded onto glass tubes containing sheets of live cells; and for
the first time, virologists could directly observe the effects of viral
infection on living cells.
- But what about all those known and unknown viruses and
bacteria that were incorporated into Henrietta's cells by the chicken,
beef and human blood and tissue mix that fed her cells and made them immortal?
And what about the herpes virus-transformed human papilloma virus contained
in her cancer cells, which in the 1950s was not accepted as the cause of
cervical cancer? Apparently there was no scientific concern about any of
- HeLa cells proved so hardy that when passed around the
world to various laboratories over the next few decades, the immortal cells
frequently contaminated other tissue culture cells lines used in cancer
and cancer virus research.
- In 1974 Walter Nelson-Rees, a cell culture expert, discovered
widespread contamination of cell lines with HeLa, by using a light microscope
and a special Giemsa cell stain which revealed the distinctive chromosomal
aberrations typical of HeLa. As a whistle-blower, he blew the lid off cancer
research. Forty different human cell culture lines, used extensively in
labs worldwide, were contaminated with HeLa. Millions of dollars worth
of published cancer research experiments were ruined. "Liver cells"
and "monkey cells" used in cancer experiments turned out to be
Henrietta's cervical cancer in disguise. Benign cells, which "spontaneously
transformed" into malignant cells, were retrospectively found to be
cell cultures which had been inadvertently contaminated with HeLa.
- Even the iconic Jonas Salk, who developed the legendary
Salk polio vaccine, was fooled when HeLa cells contaminated his animal
cell lines. Salk used HeLa cells to grow the polio virus and he tested
the vaccine on HeLa cells before its use on human in 1955. Years later,
in 1978, before a stunned audience of cell biologists and vaccine makers,
he spoke about experiments he performed in the late 1950s on dying cancer
patients. Salk injected them with a cell line of monkey heart tissue- the
same cell line he used to harvest polio virus for his famous vaccine. He
hoped the monkey cell injections would stimulate the immune system to fight
cancer. However, when abscesses developed at the site of injections Salk
began to suspect that he might be injecting HeLa cells rather than monkey
cells, and he stopped the experiment.
- Nelson-Rees, who also attended the 1978 conference, offered
to test Salk's line if it was still available. Salk graciously agreed and
the monkey cells indeed proved to be HeLa cells which had invaded and taken
over the monkey cell line. According to author Gold, Salk thought there
were adequate ways to separate viruses from the tissue cell lines, so that
it really didn't matter what kind of cells were used. Even if vaccines
weren't filtered, and even if whole cancer cells were injected directly
into a human, Salk believed they would be rejected by the body and cause
no harm. In those days doctors didn't much believe in cancer-causing viruses.
Nowadays, no researcher would dare try injecting cancer cells into a human
being. But in the 1950s Salk had done it accidently. He had injected cancerous
HeLa cells into a few dozen patients and it hadn't bothered him a bit.
- Rees-Nelson, who co-authored the paper, "Henrietta
Lacks, HeLa cells, and cell culture contamination", published in the
September 2009 issue of the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,
concluded: "Despite the passing of nearly 50 years since the problem
first surfaced of HeLa cell contamination of tissue cultures and despite
the explosive advances in molecular biology, cell culture contamination
remains an important issue for the scientific community. The problem extends
far beyond HeLa cells, although they remain a culprit. In one study, 45
of 252 human cell lines (18%) supplied by 27 of 93 originators (29%) were
contaminated. Fortunately, there was recently a call to action on preventing
contaminated cell lines."
- The Wikipedia currently provides a long "List of
contaminated cell lines."
- Continuing cell line contamination in the 21st century
- On January 15, 2010 the BBC reported cell contamination
still is a problem in cancer research, and that dozens of cancer studies
may be thrown into doubt by the discovery that researchers inadvertently
used the wrong type of cancer cells. The cell lines, according to the Journal
of the National Cancer Institute, were supplied as samples of esophageal
cancer. However, tests show they contained other types of tumor, including
lung and bowel.
- Dutch researchers say this could put major trials of
drugs in doubt. They noted: "Experimental results based on these contaminated
cell lines have led to ongoing clinical trials recruiting patients, to
more than 100 scientific publications, and to at least three cancer research
grants and 11 US patents - which emphasizes the importance of our findings."
Widespread use of these cell lines could threaten the development of new
treatments, they said.
- At the end of January 2010, ABC News issued a glowing
report on "How one woman's cells changed medicine". Microbiology
professor Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University claimed HeLa cells
has led to some of the greatest medical breakthroughs of the last hundred
years. ABC reminds us that these immortal cells, trillions upon trillions
of them, were first used in research that led to the polio vaccine, as
well as helping to develop medicines to fight cancer, the flu, and Parkinson's
disease, and in the research that led to gene mapping and cloning. They
were used to test the effects of atomic radiation and sent into outer space.
"I think we owe a lot of gratitude for what Henrietta provided,"
Racaniello said. "There's absolutely no doubt about that."
- On February 5, Popular Science online declared Henrietta
Lacks as "the most important women in medical history."
- Cancer-causing Monkey Viruses and the Polio Vaccine
- Scientists tell us that HIV is the first monkey virus
to "jump species" to cause the pandemic of AIDS. The rarely-publicized
- truth is that a cancer-causing monkey viruses jumped
species into man more than a half century ago when contaminated polio vaccines
were given to millions of people in the 1950s, including half the U.S.
population of that era.
- In the early 1960's it was discovered that some lots
- vaccines manufactured on rhesus monkey kidney tissue
during the period 1955 to 1963 were contaminated with a monkey virus called
SV-40 (Simian virus 40). This primate virus was quickly proven to cause
various cancers in experimental animals. However, to this day, government
health officials still insist there is no absolute proof that SV40 causes
cancer in humans.
- Despite the denial, genetic and immunologic studies by
independent researchers over the past decade indicate that SV40 is clearly
associated with certain cancers, such as rapidly-fatal cancers of the lung
(mesothelioma), bone marrow cancer (multiple myeloma), brain tumors in
children, and other forms of cancer.
- A Washington Times report (09/21/03) indicates "Some
of the polio vaccine given to millions of American children from 1962 until
2000 could have been contaminated with a monkey virus that shows up in
some cancers, according to documents and testimony to be delivered to a
House committee Wednesday. The vaccine manufacturer said such
- claims 'don't have any validity,' and the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agrees. More information on polio
vaccine litigation and SV40 contaminatiom can be found at sv40cancer.com.
- For anyone who still thinks that vaccine makers and government
health officials are always your friend, I would highly recommend The Virus
and the Vaccine: The True Story of a Cancer-Causing Monkey Virus, Contaminated
Polio Vaccine, and the Millions of Americans Exposed, by Debbie Bookchin
and Jim Schumacher. The book explores the history of the polio vaccine,
the contamination problems with SV40 , the ensuing vaccine-related cancer
problems, and the government's cover-up of the problem.
- Few people realize how dangerous vaccines can be and
how complicated the process of vaccine manufacture really is, particularly
when vaccines are made on living animal or human cells. Contamination with
bacteria, mycoplasma, and viruses and their elimination from the final
product are constant problems during development process. There are also
suspicions that laboratory media used to
- feed cell cultures can also be a source of contamination.
For further details on the dangers of vaccines, see my Internet article,
"Are Vaccines Causing More Diseases than they are curing?"
- The vaccine connection to the origin of the AIDS epidemic
- In my admittedly controversial view, HIV/AIDS is a man-made
disease that was initially seeded exclusively into the U.S gay community
via contaminated experimental hepatitis B vaccine programs conducted in
the late 1970s. The details and evidence of the close relationship between
the vaccine and the outbreak of the first AIDS cases in 1979 is explored
in my books, AIDS & the Doctors of Death, and Queer Blood. One can
easily Google "man-made AIDS" for numerous Internet articles
on this taboo subject.
- Since the publication of these books, a video has surfaced
on youtube.com featuring Maurice Hilleman, PhD, one of the world's leading
vaccine experts. He became famous at Merck pharmaceutical company for improving
the Salk polio vaccine and for insisting that the macaque kidney cells
not be used to produce the vaccine because the cells were known to cause
cancer in hamsters. His crowning achievement came in 1971 when he developed
the MMR vaccine, the universally used measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine
that is the cornerstone of pediatric health in the United States.
- Hilleman then turned his attention to the development
of the hepatitis B vaccine. A series of experimental vaccine trails using
gay man as guinea pigs that took place, first in Manhattan in 1978. The
first cases of AIDS were reported in Manhattan a few months after the injections
- In the video ("Merck Chief Brings HIV/AIDS to America"),
Hilleman is heard speaking with colleagues. He declares, "I brought
African greens [monkeys] in. I didn't know we were importing AIDS virus
at the time [i.e., between 1970-1974]. His colleagues are heard laughing.
Someone says, "It was you who introduced AIDS virus in the country."
And a woman's voice giggles, "Now we know."
- This stunning interview, conducted by Edward Shorter
for WGBH public television and Blackwell Science, was cut from the documentary
"The Health Century", due to liability issues, undoubtedly reflecting
poorly on Merck where the vaccine injected into gay men was developed.
We are indebted to Leonard G Horowitz, one of a handful of health professionals
who is a whistle blower on man-made AIDS and vaccine issues, for uncovering
and freely distributing this video segment.
- As is often the fate of whistle-blowers, Walter Rees-Nelson
was driven out of his lab by powerful members of the scientific establishment,
undoubtedly angered by the disruption of cancer research and all the money
lost because of contaminated HeLA. In 1999 British journalist Edward Hooper
wrote a massive tome called The River, in which he theorizes that polio
vaccines grown on primate tissue could have been contaminated with monkey
viruses, thus giving rise to the outbreak of AIDS in Africa. This theory
was uniformly rejected by scientists attending the Origin of AIDS Conference
in London in September 2000. Hooper continues to allege a conspiracy to
silence all aspects of his hypothesis.
- In the early part of 2000, Nelson-Rees, who was openly
gay, took an avid interest in Hooper's extensive AIDS research. Along with
Hooper he took spoke at the London conference where the polio vaccine connection
to AIDS was rejected. Although retired from science, Nelson-Rees was still
highly respected and was allowed to present his views.
- When Nelson-Rees died in 2009 at age 80, Hooper wrote
a moving obituary (available on aidsorigins.com) entitled, "The death
of an American hero". Hooper recalls, "Walter delivered an understated
and yet powerful speech entitled 'Responsibility for Truth in Research',
which pointed out that further cases of lab cross-contamination were still
occurring, and went on to state that in his opinion there was no logical
reason why chimp cells could not have been used to make the Congo vaccine,
given the availability of these normal non-human cells and the prevailing
custom in the 1950s of using cells about which little or nothing was known
except that they could optimally support the growth of a given virus.'"
- The idea of man-made AIDS and contaminated vaccines is
so explosive that it is routinely dismissed by the major media as "conspiracy
theory." But the theory almost destroyed Barack Obama's bid for the
White House in the election of 2008. An entry on Leonard Horowitz in the
Wikipedia states: On April 27, 2008, Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah
Wright, during questions and answers at the National Press Club in connection
with the general controversy over his opinions, was asked by a moderator,
"In your sermon, you said the government lied about inventing the
HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. So I ask you:
Do you honestly believe your statement and those words?" Wright responded,
"Have you read Horowitz's book, "Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola,"
whoever wrote that question? .... I read different things. As I said to
my members, if you haven't read things, then you can't -- based on this
Tuskegee experiment and based on what has happened to Africans in this
country, I believe our government is capable of doing anything." (For
more discussion, view my article "Rev. Wright is right about man-made
- Henrietta Lacks and the creation of a new species
- Due to their ability to replicate indefinitely (provided
they are fed properly) and the development of a non-human number of chromosomes,
immortal HeLa cells are now considered by some geneticists to be a contemporary
creation of a new species. The proposed name is Helacyton gartleri, in
honor of geneticist Stanley Gartler, who along with Nelson-Rees, called
attention to the worldwide contamination of cell tissue cultures with HeLa.
- Transformed by the cervical cancer-causing human papilloma
virus 18 and more than 50 years of continuing culture, the various strains
of Henrietta's cells produce and spread on their own. Growing like weeds
in many labs, they now appear more like amoeba-type cells than as cells
derived from a human. Amoebas are one-celled protozoa. There are several
varieties found in humans that are not considered to be disease producers.
- Twenty years ago, in The Cancer Microbe, I wrote about
Wilhelm Reich, MD, the unfairly maligned and persecuted cancer researcher
who was sentenced to Federal prison where he died in 1957. He firmly believed
cancer was intimately associated with bacteria, which he called "T-bacilli."
In cancer tumors artificially produced in animals, Reich observed the animal's
cancer cells transform into monster cells that greatly resembled tiny protozoa
and amoebae. Reich, in his time, was widely perceived as a menace and a
crackpot. However, I am sure he would not be surprised to learn that Henrietta's
cancer cells have taken on a life of their own, much like the amoebas that
he studied extensively.
- The lab creation of new forms of life
has not escaped the attention of the military, always on the lookout for
potential agents useful for biological warfare development. DARPA (the
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is an arm of the U.S. Department
of Defense. On Feb 5, 2010, Katie Drummond of Wired.com reported that the
Pentagon's mad science arm may have come up with its most radical project
yet. DARPA is looking to re-write the laws of evolution to the military's
advantage, creating "synthetic organisms" that can live forever.
The plan would assemble the latest bio-tech knowledge to come up with living,
breathing creatures that are genetically engineered to "produce the
intended biological effect." DARPA wants the organisms to be fortified
with molecules that bolster cell resistance to death, so that the lab-monsters
can "ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely."
- Henrietta Lacks: "The Godmother of Virology"
- Also on February 5, 2010, a review was posted of a new
book entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.
The author spent ten years researching the billion dollar industry surrounding
HeLa cells, and has extensively interviewed surviving family members. Henrietta's
family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty
years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her
husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the
cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological
materials, her family never saw any of the profits.
- A reviewer for the Washington Post noted: "Nearly
60 years later, Lacks's tissue has yielded an estimated 50 million metric
tons of HeLa cells. Scientific and medical researchers add about 300 HeLa-related
studies a month to the library of 60,000 studies. Lacks's surviving family
members have learned what was going on -- and have become subjects of interest
for researchers, too."
- In a The New York Times review (2/5/10), Lisa Margonelli
- "After Henrietta Lacks's death, HeLa went viral,
so to speak, becoming the godmother of virology and then biotech, benefiting
practically anyone who's ever taken a pill stronger than aspirin. HeLa
has helped build thousands of careers, not to mention more than 60,000
scientific studies, with nearly 10 more being published every day, revealing
the secrets of everything from aging and cancer to mosquito mating and
the cellular effects of working in sewers." Deborah, Henrietta's daughter,
"becomes the book's driving force, as Skloot joins her in her 'lifelong
struggle to make peace with the existence of those cells, and the science
that made them possible.'
- To find the mother she never got to know, she read hundreds
of articles about HeLa research, which led her to believe that her mother
was 'eternally suffering' from all the experiments performed on her cells."
- Horizontal gene transfer :
Gene swapping among life forms
- While HeLa cells were spreading around the world and
contaminating cell cultures, there was little appreciation of how life
forms related to one another. Scientists now have a better knowledge of
how viruses can "recombine" with other viruses. Viruses can also
infect bacteria as well as human cells. Over the past two decades, molecular
scientists have become more and more aware of the back and forth gene swapping
between and among various species of life, from the smallest forms of life
up to the largest forms. The process is known as "horizontal gene
transfer." We are familiar with "vertical gene transfer,"
whereby the offspring of an organism inherits genes from its parent.
- Horizontal gene transfer in cancer and vaccine research
is a serious hazard because genetic engineering experiments allow the spread
of dangerous transgenic DNA from species to species. This has tremendous
implications for theories of evolution, as well as for cancer virus research
when viruses are moved between various species of animals and sometimes
adapted to human cells. This was basically what scientists were doing in
the War on Cancer throughout the 70s, the period right before the AIDS
epidemic erupted in 1981 (see my book AIDS & the Doctors of Death).
For more information, simply Google key words: dangerous lateral gene transfer.
- HeLa cell research: Science or scientific madness?
- Having graduated from medical school a half-century ago,
I am disillusioned with my chosen profession. I spent 40 years researching
the bacterial cause of cancer and showing bacteria in cancer tissue, where,
according to the cancer experts, there aren't
- supposed to be any. This research sparked little, if
any, interest among my colleagues. I spent a quarter-century trying to
alert people to the evidence that AIDS is a man-made disease, with no response
from the AIDS experts, who educate people about HIV coming out of the African
jungle to cause AIDS.
- What do I really think about HeLa cells? HeLa cells are
cancerous cells (infected with a known cancer-causing papilloma virus)
to which was added the blood from a human placenta, ground-up beef embryo,
and chicken plasma extracted from the blood of a live chicken heart. This
is a concoction that I would expect from someone practicing witchcraft,
but not good science. To use HeLa cells as a foundation, a cornerstone,
a template, upon which to base viral studies strikes me as viral voodoo.
- How can an infected cell culture like HeLa possibly help
in cancer and vaccine research? Except to spread the known and unknown
viruses, mycoplasma, bacteria, and God-only-knows what other potentially
infectious agents are contained within Henrietta's cells and the new species
- In all my research for this article, the one bit of reading
that made more sense to me than any other was provided by an anonymous
blogger who posted his comments (2/1/10) on the Baltimore Sun website (2/1/10),
regarding Skloot's new book:
- "A complete and total injustice was done to her
family to obtain these cells. And now some crazy cancer cells that KILLED
her are IN US ALL. That's right, if you have ever gotten a vaccine you
got a little HeLa in you.
- The cancer killed her, and anyway, these are not normal
cells, they are CANCER CELLS, and if you ask a science dude HOW OR WHY
her cells are STILL ALIVE they don't know, but they kept it a secret because
at the time whites would have objected to having cancer cells that killed
a black woman INJECTED INTO THEIR CHILDRENS' BODIES. I am an African-American.
To me her story is fascinating and tragic like many stories of people who
have been ripped off.
- Look at it this way, if her family had to be paid every
time her cells were used, there would be some record of who got them. The
rates for cancer have gone through the roof in the last 40 years, her cells
have been found in places where it was impossible for them to have been
- and still the scientists do not know why her cells are 'Immortal.'
- If her family had been informed possibly more care would
have been taken with these cells that KILLED THEIR MOTHER, and for all
we know, could be killing people now because we don't know how they work."
- [Alan Cantwell is a retired dermatologist and cancer
and AIDS researcher. His books on the microbe of cancer and the man-made
origin of AIDS are available on amazon.com, or through Book Clearing House
at 1-800-431-1579. Website: ariesrisingpress.com, Email:email@example.com]
- Alan Cantwell M.D.
- author of, AIDS & The Doctors of Death and Queer