HERE is an interesting article published recently in Nature.

“These cells from one fetus have no doubt saved the lives of millions of people.”


Graphic from HERE

It’s always interesting for me to read about the origins of some infamous cell lines used in research today. In my current research, I use a cell line originally developed from the epithelial (skin) cells of an ovary from a Chinese hamster.

After reading the above article, I realized that many of the important vaccines we have used (e.g. rubella, rabies, adenovirus, polio, measles, chickenpox and shingles) were developed using lung cells originally from an aborted fetus.  Unsurprisingly, that makes this cell line and it’s resulting vaccines controversial, but the benefit we have seen from these cell are undeniable.  It makes me wonder whether the people receiving these vaccines know (probably not) or care (maybe?) about the origin.

*To be clear, once the cells were harvested from this single fetus back in 1962, they have been maintained, stored, and grown in a lab setting.  No other fetuses have been used in the creation/maintenance of this cell line nor the vaccines developed from it.  So any source that tells you that fetuses are killed all the time to make these vaccines are incorrect.


About Tricia

I am a science geek who loves traveling and anything to do with the ocean!

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