Expanding HIV's Host Range: A Response

Editor’s note: Last November 30, we published an Opinion piece by Alexander Kohn, professor of virology at Tel Aviv University. In the article, Kohn questioned the wisdom of inserting the CD4 gene from HIV into cell lines, especially HeLa cells. Such research could, Kohn suggested, expand the host range of HIV In this response, Howard M Temin, of the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, tries to lay Kohn’s concern to rest. We invite further comment. Alexander Kohn and the headl

Howard Temin
Apr 3, 1988
Editor’s note: Last November 30, we published an Opinion piece by Alexander Kohn, professor of virology at Tel Aviv University. In the article, Kohn questioned the wisdom of inserting the CD4 gene from HIV into cell lines, especially HeLa cells. Such research could, Kohn suggested, expand the host range of HIV In this response, Howard M Temin, of the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, tries to lay Kohn’s concern to rest. We invite further comment.

Alexander Kohn and the headline writer have changed the meaning of a term in their suggestion that the proposed work with HeLa cells would result in an expansion of HIV’s host range (“The Dangers of Expanding HIV’s Host Range,” November 30, 1987, p. 11). The work objected to would allow HIV to replicate in some modified HeLa cells. However, there is no evidence or even suggestion that such growth would result in a changed virus....

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