At a Sept. 11 meeting of the Royal Society of London, convened to discuss the origin of HIV/AIDS, researchers aired scientific data showing that the hypothesis that HIV/AIDS originated from an experimental oral polio vaccine had no scientific merit. The hypothesis was popularized by journalist Edward Hooper in his 1999 book, The River,1 and supported by the late evolutionary biologist William Hamilton. It states that a type of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) called CHAT, produced by Hilary Koprowski and colleagues from the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, and other polio vaccine researchers in Africa, was derived from culture of the virus in chimpanzee kidneys that were contaminated with SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus). Koprowski is now professor of microbiology and immunology at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.

The Royal Society meeting, organized by Hamilton and originally scheduled to occur last May (which turned out to be several weeks after Hamilton's untimely death...

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