The Emperor's New Virus
"You discovered WHAT!?" Jackie shrieked.
"I found out that Robert Gallo may have created the AIDS virus about
a decade before he allegedly discovered it."
know more tomorrow. I'm going back to the dungeon to search his
"You think there's a paper trail? But why would he have
published something so incriminating?"
"Because he couldn't have
possibly predicted that his creations might have caused an epidemic
a decade later. Besides, Randy Shilts characterized Gallo as having
a huge ego in And The Band Played On,' and those types like to see
their names in print."
I had quickly read Shilts's highly regarded
work about two years earlier. Though I skimmed through much of it,
my most vivid memory was that Gallo erected barriers for colleagues
racing against time in search of the deadly AIDS virus.
the old saying 'publish or perish.' Today I discovered that Gallo's
lab at the NCI put AIDS-like viruses together by the mid-1970s. They
proudly published it."
"I might be wrong, but my intuition
is telling me to thoroughly check it out; especially now that I know
that the NCI, and most likely Gallo's lab, was the principal
beneficiary of the $10 million DOD AIDS-like virus contract?"
you know that?"
"By putting the pieces together," I replied. "The
NCI was the WHO's chief virus distributor and they took over Fort Detrick. And
Gallo was their top retrovirologist, that is, immune-system
germ expert. Anyway, I'll find out more in the morning. I'm leaving
for Boston again early."
That night I couldn't sleep. Questions
darted through my mind at lightening speed:
Had WHO officials known
that their viral "reagents" and laboratory instructions were being
used by biological weapons developers?
How could they not have?
Immune system destroying "slow" cancer viruses were the rage back
Were WHO officials connected to NAS-NRC members who worked for
Was Gallo a member of the NAS-NRC, and if so, was he
directly involved in their negotiations with the DOD?
participated in the controversial Fort Detrick symposium on "entry
and control of foreign nucleic acid?"
Could he have been injecting
RNA into cells to create cancers and analyzing white blood cell
control mechanisms as early as the 1960s?
This would have drawn DOD
attention to his work for potential application in BW research. It
struck me odd that soon after the WHO published its report on
chemical and biological warfare, the WHO Chronicle ceased publishing
its "Current Research Projects" column that had appeared almost
monthly until 1969.
"I can't sleep," I said to Jackie who was dozing soundly. "I'm
getting up to read."
Gallo Sounded Dreadful in The Band
Driven to satisfy my wakeful curiosity Gallo, I walked to the den,
flicked on the reading lamp, and thumbed to the index of 'And The
Band Played On.' I then settled back into the recliner and began to
read the sections Shilts had written about him. Robert Gallo, I
immediately learned, was the son of a hardworking president of a
Connecticut metal company. His mother, Shilts simply described as
charismatic, extroverted, and clannish. 
In 1949, at the age of thirteen, young Robert suffered a
"turning point" in his life. His younger sister struggled
unsuccessfully to fight leukemia. While she was at the hospital,
Gallo met the famous Harvard University cancer expert, Sydney Faber,
and other researchers who worked to save his sister from death. This
experience sparked Gallo's desire to become a research biologist.
An uncle who taught zoology at the University of Connecticut
encouraged young Robert to study at a local Catholic hospital with a
grossly cynical research pathologist. Here, as a teen, Gallo
performed numerous autopsies.  Later, above his mother's garage,
while attending Providence College, he slew scores of mice and
studied diligently.  He graduated from Jefferson Medical College
in 1963 and then went on to a two-year postdoctoral residency
program at the University of Chicago. Next he became a clinical
associate in the Medical Branch of the NIH's National Cancer
Institute. Here, assigned to work in the children's leukemia ward at
the NIH Hospital, he swore he would "never work with patients
Later he was appointed to head the NCI's Cellular Control
Mechanisms Section of the Human Tumor Cell Biology Branch, and then
in 1972, he became the Chief of Lab Tumor Cell Biology at the NCI.
From 1966 to 1970 Gallo earned fame investigating the theory that
viruses played a role in leukemia and other forms of cancer. His
efforts examined the role of retroviruses and focused on the unique
enzyme reverse transcriptase - the chemical that retroviruses used
to reproduce themselves in victim cells. Identifying reverse
transcriptase aided scientists in detecting retrovirus infections,
and represented a significant advance. Yet, few scientists appeared
particularly impressed by Gallo's work.
At that time, retroviruses were seen to infect chickens, mice, and
cats, but not humans. 
Following his discovery of interleukin-II,
a natural substance that kept cultured T-cells alive and
"career advanced smoothly-until the false alarm
of 1976. It appeared that he had discovered a new virus, and
proudly, Gallo announced it to the world. When it turned out that an
animal virus had contaminated his cell line, and there was no new
virus, Gallo's reputation plummeted." 
"For all his accolades," Shilts recorded, "Bob Gallo remained a controversial figure in
Critics saw him as pompous and arrogant. In scientific
politics, "he could be ruthless" and "not always reliable."
himself recognized this criticism reflected "the shadowy side of his
character." In his mind however, this pride and arrogance, was
required "from the few brave scientists who challenged nature to
yield its secrets." 
Among his most valuable contributions to the
AIDS research effort, Shilts acknowledged, was Gallo's cell
culturing and virus typing techniques.
"... By easily being able to grow lymphocytes, Gallo had already
overcome a formidable research barrier. Some viruses eluded decent
study simply because scientists couldn't figure out how to propagate
their host cells." 
"Experiments to detect antibodies [blood markers that are used to
indicate exposure to a foreign substance or an active infection] to
the Human T-cell Leukemia virus, HTLV, were performed easily with
reagents sent from Dr. Bob Gallo's lab..." 
What troubled me after reading these sections was the realization
that he had the cell lines to culture the AIDS virus and the
antibodies to detect it before anyone in the world knew what it was.
My selected review of 'The Band' quickly drew my attention to
another interesting oddity.
Gallo, credited with having identified HTLV-the first isolated retrovirus known to cause leukemia in
humans, in 1980, had apparently shown his retrovirus was linked to a
Japanese outbreak of leukemia. Apparently, Gallo had first
discovered this unique retrovirus; then "searched worldwide for a
disease that it might cause." 
"That's kind of like playing pin
the donkey on the tail," I muttered to myself. "A very unusual
approach to medical science."
Allegedly by chance, Gallo stumbled
upon Japanese researchers who were searching for T-cell leukemia's
viral culprit. Identifying HTLV, forged a major scientific
breakthrough in virology. It also disturbed scientists who
recognized that such a killer, due to its long incubation period,
could spread widely before it caused disease or was even suspected.
Something which Gallo was undoubtedly aware with the NCI's
charter membership in the WHO "lentivirus" or "slow" virus research
network. Still, scientists remained doubtful about the importance of
Gallo's work and the future of retrovirus research altogether. Many
stuck to the belief that such germs preyed mainly upon chickens,
pigs, and cats.  So I suspected Gallo's early work probably
involved chickens, pigs, and cats.
That's interesting, I thought as
I remembered reading in Shilts's anthology that AIDS patients
suffered complications very similar to cats infected with feline
"Both feline leukemia and this new
gay disease were marked by a
trail of opportunistic infections that seemed to take advantage of
an immune system weakened by a primary infection. In cats, the
infection was a leukemia virus that knocked out the cats' immune
systems and left them open to a number of cancers. Clearly, some
similar virus was doing the same thing to these homosexual men, and
they were getting cancer too. Secondly, feline leukemia has a long
incubation period; this new disease must have long latency too,
which is the only way it was killing people in three cities on both
coasts before anybody even knew it existed." 
Dr. Don Francis, one of the CDC's chief virologists,
quickly realized this association. Next, he examined the unique
affinity the mystery disease had to gays and intravenous drug users,
and how similar this was to the distribution of hepatitis B cases.
He rapidly concluded,
"Combine these two diseases - feline leukemia
and hepatitis - and you have the immune deficiency." 
Slow Start Against a Hot New Virus
"More than a year into the epidemic," Shilts reported, "the
National lnstitutes of Health had no coordinated AIDS plan.
Everything was done on the basis of temporary assignments... At
Bob Gallo's lab at the NCI's Division of Tumor Cell Biology," things
could have been different, but they were much the same.
10 percent of the staff effort went into poking around the
devastated lymphocytes of AIDS patients."
This, despite the
availability of generous NIH funding.  Even more suspicious was
the fact that nearly a year after the NCI acknowledged the need to
channel its resources to fight the oncoming epidemic, the institute
withheld its request for funding proposals, and failed to free
available funds for AIDS researchers outside Bethesda. 
the financial resources at its disposal, and the earnest need, why
had they held up everyone's search for the AIDS virus? Furthermore, Shilts wrote that by the end of 1982, "Gallo had had it up to here
with this goddamn disease."  But that was only about eighteen
months after the CDC announced there may be an epidemic brewing. I
recalled that it was in June 1981 that the CDC reported in
'Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report' (MMWR) the first cases of
what would soon be called GRID - Gay-Related Immune Deficiency
disease - the first acronym given AIDS.
It also struck me as odd
that Gallo suspected a retrovirus - his career's passion - and then
he decided to quit. Shilts wrote that,
"AIDS had always created some
discomfort for Gallo, who hailed from traditional Italian - Catholic
stock in New Jersey. There was all this dirty talk of 1,100
partners, fist-fucking, and other exotic sexuality; frankly, Gallo
found it embarrassing to talk about."
Again, my mind flashed back to Strecker's hypothesis and then
questioned - If the NCI began taking over Fort Detrick in 1970 for
the expressed purpose of developing defenses against retrovirus
attacks and immune deficiency epidemics, then,
Brilliance, Treachery, or Both
Between 1978 and 1983, Gallo's lab continued to pay little attention
to AIDS at the "lethargic NCI." In those days, the NCI's chief
retrovirologist allegedly perceived the cause to be more frustrating
and distracting than legitimate.  During this period of AIDS
research, Gallo's behavior appeared at best erratic and at worst
Shilts recorded a series of suspicious interactions in
which Gallo all but sabotaged international research efforts to
isolate the AIDS retrovirus. One episode involved Dr. Max Essex, a
Harvard researcher who had flown in to Atlanta to discuss with Gallo
the results of a test he conducted on behalf of the CDC. The CDC had
sent a cell line teeming with viruses to Essex to determine if HTLV-I
or HTLVII - the viruses Gallo's lab initially discovered and then
reported as AIDS suspects - was involved.
To find out, Essex used
"monoclonal antibodies" that had come from samples Gallo had
previously supplied. But when Gallo learned the group was still
using his materials, he blew up.
"How can you collaborate with me
and you're doing stuff behind my back?" Gallo exploded. "If you're
using my materials on anything, I need to know about it in advance.
You need my approval."
Gallo spent the better part of an hour
berating Essex and embarrassing CDC doctors.
"This was the ugly side
of the National Cancer Institute that the CDC researchers sometimes
talked to each other about," Shilts wrote.
The NCI appeared to be "a
repository for researchers concerned with little more than personal
glory." Gallo's outburst confirmed the "darkest suspicions about the
Another bizarre tale involved Dr. V.S. Kalyanaraman.
Kaly, as he was called, had been recruited by Dr. Don Francis at the
CDC to develop a "top-rate retrovirus lab" in late 1983. Kaly had
gained fame for his HTLV-II discovery while working under Gallo.
"When cajoling did not persuade Kaly to stay in Bethesda, Gallo
resorted to threats: He would not let his researcher take any
reagents to any retrovirus from his NCI lab to the CDC. He'd have to
culture his own viruses and anti-bodies, Gallo said. Meanwhile, Don
Francis heard in early August that Gallo had asked top officials at
the National Cancer Institute to stop the CDC from hiring the
younger researcher... [When] Gallo knew these efforts would not
succeed... he phoned Don Francis directly."
Gallo said there was no need for two government agencies to
replicate retrovirus research efforts. When this approach failed,
Gallo warned, "There's no way we will collaborate with you." He saw
"no evidence of CDC goodwill" toward the NCI. Allegedly, for that
reason, he withheld experimental reagents including the antibodies
needed to identify AIDS-like viruses.
Later, Gallo voiced his
concern to colleagues that the CDC was conspiring to determine the
cause of AIDS and then "run without me," fearing he would get no
credit. At various times, Gallo warned Francis not to work with
other researchers, especially the French.
"Don't form tertiary
relationships," Francis was told. "Keep me in a prime relationship
with AIDS and cherish the goodwill." 
Shilts also reported that
Gallo's collaboration with Luc Montagnier was altogether shameless.
When Montagnier had allegedly discovered what later turned out to be
the AIDS virus, he asked Gallo to supply the antibody needed to
examine the retrovirus's dissimilarity to Gallo's HTLV-I.
wrote Shilts, "his antibody had been almost inactivated when it
arrived from Dr. Robert Gallo's lab."
Montagnier labored to run the
analysis anyway. But that also seemed odd. The report I had read in
'Nature' revealed that Montagnier already had Gallo's HTLV antibody
test kit as early as 1982.  Shilts also reported that after
writing up the results and submitting his paper to Science for
publication, Montagnier learned that Gallo was sent the manuscript
as "part of the review process."
Gallo criticized the work and
informed Montagnier that the acronym he had used to initially name
his retrovirus, "RUB," was offensive. The NCI chief retrovirologist
then persuaded the French researcher to claim his find was from the
HTLV family of viruses that he had discovered. 
Collusion at the Top
Jim Goedert was one of many AIDS researchers at the NIH who was
foundering for lack of staff and money. In April 1983, he approached
the NCI for assistance and was met with a response far less than was
expected given. Gallo's widely recognized work with reverse
"[T]he NCI lab where he sent his blood samples... [allegedly] did
not have the capabilities to look for reverse transcriptase, the
sure marker of retroviral infection. The tests were never run. Life
as an AIDS researcher at the National Cancer Institute, he later
remarked, meant "chronic frustration." 
"On Capitol Hill, Representative
Ted Weiss experienced similar
frustrations when he attempted to review unclassified NCI and CDC
documents. Weiss, assigned by the House Subcommittee on Federal AIDS
Funding to review CDC budget records, obtained through
less-than-formal channels a National Cancer Institute memo, ordering
that before any interviews with congressional investigators, NCI
researchers should advise agency officials and "invite" a top
administrator to attend."
So much for an independent review, Weiss thought. Another memo, sent
by CDC Director William Foege, instructed federal agency chiefs
"All material submitted to the Congress must evidence the
Department's support of the administration's stated policies." 
Change of Heart
Despite his "distaste for the whole subject of AIDS," by April 1983,
Gallo could see that "the stakes were being redefined."  The
French were about to publish their findings as was Max Essex at
"So on April 11, 1983, the NCI's Deputy Director Peter Fishinger called a meeting for 4:30 P.M. in the director's
conference room. This marked the first gathering of the NCI Task
Force on AIDS."
Here, Gallo forcefully acknowledged his concern
about the French who had delivered a lymph node for him to study.
"I believe a retrovirus is involved, and we're going to prove it
or disprove it within a year," declared Gallo. "We're going to spend
a year and nail this down one way or another."
Allegedly then, Fishinger promised
Gallo that he could have the full resources of
the NCI's elite laboratory in Frederick (Fort Detrick), Maryland.
Montagnier's Alleged Discovery
Once Montagnier learned that the new retrovirus he had
isolated was not a leukemia virus, but something completely unique,
he chose to rename it LAV, or lymphadenopathy-associated virus,
rather than RUB or HTLV...
"Montagnier was surprised that there wasn't more enthusiasm about
the Pasteur Institute's announcement of a new retrovirus. Most
scientists wanted to defer final judgment until more research came
from Robert Gallo's lab... Gallo was, after all, a far more famed
retrovirologist, and he was talking HTLV... Montagnier was
gaining more confidence that the Pasteur Institute had indeed
discovered the virus that caused AIDS. Still, he was stumped as 'to
which family of viruses LAV belonged. If not HTLV, then what?'"
"The chance encounter with another virologist on the Pasteur campus
gave Montagnier the final piece to the puzzle. The associate
mentioned a family of viruses, primarily found in animals, called
lentiviruses. Lenti means slow. These viruses go into the cells, lie
dormant for a while, and then burst into frenzied activity. Montagnier had never heard of the family before..."
"What!" I exclaimed, breaking the night's silence. I couldn't
believe my eyes. He had never heard of the family of slow viruses
before? "That's absolutely ludicrous."
How could he not have heard
about the hottest rage in virology during the late 1960s and early
1970s? What I had just read in Shilts's book didn't jive with my
knowledge of the scientific reality. Something was up with the
French connection that Shilts completely overlooked. Something
Montagnier allegedly spent the night reading about
cattle viruses and was amazed to find LAV had the same morphology,
the same proteins, and even the same look under the electron
The French Francis Fracas
Prior to hailing the discovery of HTLV-III as the AIDS virus, Gallo,
representing the NCI, met with Don Francis from the CDC and Dr.
Jean-Claude Chermann from the Pasteur Institute to negotiate the
claims that would be made to the international press. The
discussions, wrote Shilts,
"quickly acquired the mood of delicate
arms negotiations among parties who shared only mutual distrust."
Gallo absolutely refused to discuss specifics about his
upcoming HTLV-III publication in Francis's presence. Francis was
frequently required to leave the room while Chermann and Gallo
"The Pasteur scientists were astonished that
one branch of the
U.S. government should hold another in such low regard." 
Ultimately, Don Francis determined from electron micrographs he had
obtained from Europe that Montagnier's and Gallo's retroviruses were
the same. In light of the germ's dissimilarity to the HTLV family of
retroviruses, he argued in favor of the French naming the virus.
Following intense negotiations, however, the naming issue remained
unresolved, though the three researchers worked out an agreement to
jointly announce the discovery of the AIDS virus by the CDC, NCI and
Shilts then chronicled Gallo's efforts to sabotage this
agreement and claim the lion's share of credit for himself. Standing
alongside Chermann in the pissoir, he offered,
"We can do this
together - just the Pasteur Institute and the NCI," he said. "We
don't need the CDC."
Chermann dismissed the proposal. The next
morning, during breakfast with Don Francis, Gallo remarked that he
would probably get the most credit during the announcement because
he maintained the most HTLV-III isolates.
Then he offered Francis
the proposal Chermann refused the night before.
"We don't need the
Pasteur Institute," he argued. "The CDC and the NCI can announce
this ourselves." 
On April 23, 1984, the announcement was made
by Margaret Heckler, Secretary of the Office of Health and Human
Services, that Robert Gallo, essentially unaided by the French and COC, had discovered the AIDS virus.
"The doctors who accompanied
Heckler to the podium blanched visibly," Shilts noted, "when she
proclaimed that a blood test would be available within six months
and a vaccine would be ready for testing within two years."
blood test had already been available for over two years, I
reflected, but I understood why they blanched with the announcement
of a vaccine. 
The Emperor's New Virus
Ten months later at a prestigious AIDS meeting in New York, Dr.
Joseph Sonnabend revealed that Gallo's HTLV-III and Montagnier's LAV
"identical... to a degree that would not be anticipated with
two independent isolates from the same family."
"Would you be brave
enough to voice explicitly the implications of what you're saying
here?" Sonnabend was asked by an attending physician.
wouldn't," Sonnabend replied. "I'm not the right person to be saying
"Neither am I," said the other doctor.
"What are you talking
about here?" asked an Associated Press reporter.
"Do you know something that you are not saying?"
"They appear to be
the same actual isolate," Sonnabend finally admitted. "Or some
"What are you suggesting?" another person
asked. Dr. Mathilde Krim, the conference organizer, chimed in, "Dr.
Montagnier felt very appropriately that he was not the person to
point this out."
"Nobody's pointed it out quite exactly yet," voiced
a frustrated reporter. "It's perhaps a complicated notion for you to
understand," said Krim, "but I think you are coming close."
Drake, a veteran science writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer was
one of few journalists present who understood the meaning of Sonnabend's remarks.
"Are you suggesting that Gallo swiped his virus
from the French?" Drake queried.
"Or Montagnier swiped Gallo's
virus, or we are dealing with a very strange coincidence," replied
"A light bulb goes off," blurted the
Francisco Chronicle panelist.
It was now understood by all in
attendance. In virology, it is inconceivable that a genetic
variation between two different viruses could be less than 1 percent
as was the case with Gallo's HTLV-III and Montagnier's LAV. As
Shilts put it,
"That would be like finding two identical snowflakes.
It simply didn't happen." 
Sonnabend was pointing out the
scientific fact that Gallo had simply cloned the virus Montagnier
had sent him, then claimed it was his discovery, or Gallo had
supplied Montagnier with his virus, and now both were claiming
credit for the discovery.
Disharmony in The Band
Even more disturbing than the French-American AIDS fracas, however,
was the possibility that Gallo may have indeed discovered the virus,
not in 1984, but at least a decade earlier, and the French most
likely knew about it. Support for this frightening theory existed, I
realized, not only in the suspicious and offensive actions Gallo and
the NCI took in trying to prevent others from discovering the AIDS
virus. Apparently, Gallo resisted and resented the challenge of
identifying the suspected retrovirus as late as December 1982.
Shilts reported with masterful clarity:
"Because the genetic material of retroviruses is made of RNA that
must be transcribed to DNA for the construction of viral duplicates,
retroviruses need a special enzyme to reproduce - the reverse
transcriptase enzyme. By November , Gallo's lab had found
evidence of reverse transcriptase in the infected lymphocytes of
AIDS patients. This enzyme, in effect, had left
the footprints of a retrovirus allover the lymphocytes. But it was
impossible to find the damned retrovirus itself [emphasis added]
That was the rub."
In addition, Gallo's staff couldn't keep the lymphocytes alive. They
died. Any leukemia virus, Gallo knew, caused the proliferation of
cells, not their death. People with leukemia have too many white
blood cells. When Gallo's staff added lymphocytes from the blood
from AIDS patients, however, to lymphocytes in culture, the
lymphocytes would die without any proliferation.
The frustration was
galling and, by November, Gallo had made what would prove to be
among the most important decisions of his career. He gave Up. 
This doesn't make any sense, I thought. Gallo discovered
interleuken-II. Six months earlier,
"an associate of Gallo said that
he had started culturing lymphocytes from a GRID patient in a
special culture medium Gallo had developed that contained
The IL-II, Don Francis recognized was a perfect
addition to a growth medium for lymphocytes. "By easily being able
to grow lymphocytes, Gallo had already overcome a formidable
research barrier," Shilts reported. 
Now, I considered, Gallo
was quitting because he allegedly couldn't keep infected lymphocytes
alive long enough to study them or isolate their attackers. I found
both hard to believe.
First of all, the French discovered how to
keep their lymphocytes alive quite rapidly. Why couldn't Gallo who
had far more experience in the field?
Second, Shilts noted earlier
Margaret Heckler's correct comment that Gallo alone had discovered
how to reproduce the virus in large enough quantities to develop a
blood test - a test used by the French as early as 1982. 
to reproduce the virus, he needed the cell lines in which to grow
them - lymphocytes which he had apparently kept alive long before
Fourth, if the French had isolated AIDS viruses using
Gallo's largely inactivated antibodies to tag them, then how come
Gallo couldn't find them with his superior-quality reagents?
finally, seasoned researchers just don't give up so easily.
was not the worst of it. Following the official United States
government announcement that Gallo had discovered the AIDS virus,
"How timely was the discovery of the long-sought AIDS virus?... As
it turned out, the AIDS virus was not a particularly difficult virus
to find. The French took all of three weeks to discover LAV
[emphasis added] and had published their first paper on it within
four months. This early publication lacked the certainty of a
definitive discovery, but the French had enough evidence to assert
they had found the cause of AIDS by the summer of 1983, seven or
eight months into the research process." 
And their efforts had
been allegedly delayed by Gallo's inactivated antibodies, I
"Nor was the NCI research marked by great longevity. Gallo's
announcement of forty-eight isolates of HTLV-III came just twelve
days past the first anniversary of the April 11, 1983, NCI meeting
in which the researcher swore he would "nail down" the cause of
AIDS. Meanwhile, at the University of California in San Francisco,
it took Dr. Jay Levy about eight months to gather twenty isolates of
a virus he called AIDS-associated retrovirus, or ARV, which he too
believed to be identical to LAV. Levy's research was hampered by
lack of resources and did not begin in earnest until after the
arrival of his long-sought flow hood and the release of UC research
funds impounded the previous autumn."
And all the discoveries used methods and materials developed,
perfected, and supplied by Dr. Gallo, I realized. The next day, I
learned that the testing methods and reagents for identifying RNA
reverse transcriptase in virus-infected cells as well as antibodies
to detect retroviruses, Gallo and coworkers developed more than ten
years earlier than had been publicized. [22-27]
Gallo was among the
world's champions at quickly identifying reverse transcriptase
enzyme and RNA retroviruses. Long before identifying the growth
hormone interleuken-II [26,27,29] Gallo and coworkers identified
more than a dozen human lymphocyte and RNA tumor virus growth
His primary business was allegedly trying to
determine the cause of leukemia, a cancer associated with the rapid
proliferation of white blood cells. Thus, methods and materials used
to increase the reproductive rate of RNA retroviruses and the white
blood cells they infected, Gallo and company researched in depth in
the early 1970s. It was highly suspicious then that following a
decade of successfully doing so, he was suddenly unable to keep RNA
retrovirus-infected lymphocytes alive. So, I considered, if this was
a lame excuse to quit searching for the easily isolated AIDS virus,
then what was his real motivation?
As "most CDC researchers
privately believed,"  Shilts wrote, it is inconceivable that
Gallo would not have readily isolated the "true" AIDS virus well
before 1982 given his formidable background and resources.
delayed the NCI, therefore, was not the difficulty in finding the
virus but their reluctance to even look." 
With all the glory
attached to the earliest discovery of the AIDS virus, what powerful
force could have moved the world's citadel of retrovirus research -
Gallo and the NCI - away from the challenge that could have been met
so handily? There were few plausible explanations - only more
questions. Had Gallo been ashamed of creating the virus years
earlier, so he tried to block its discovery, terrified it might be
traced to BW research?
I never did get any sleep that night.
 Shilts R. And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS
Epidemic. New York: Penguin Books, 1987.
 Department of Defense Appropriations For 1970: Hearings Before A
Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations House of
Representatives, Ninety-first Contress, First Session,
H.B. 15090. Part 5, Research. Development. Test and Evaluation.
Dept. of the Army. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington,
 Shilts R. Op. cit., p. 269.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 270-271.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 151.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 163.
 Shilts R. Ibid., pp. 73-74.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 186.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 173.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 201-202.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 151.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 350.
 Shilts R. Ibid., pp. 366-367.
 Walgate R. Hepatitis B vaccine: Pasteur Institute in AIDS
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 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 264.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 272.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 354.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 319
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 444.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 451.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 528-29.
 Shilts R. Ibid., p. 452.
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oncogenic RNA viruses. Nature 1971;234:194-198.
 Gallo RC and Whang-Peng JW. Enhanced transformation of human
immunocompetant cells by dibutyryl adenosine cyclic 3'5'
-monophosphate. J. National Cancer Institute 1971;47;1:91-94.
 Gallo RC, Hecht SM, Whang-Peng J and O'Hopp S. N6_(
2isopentenyl) adenosine: the regulatory effects of a cytokinin and
modified nucleoside from tRNA on human lymphocytes. Biochimica Et
Biophysica Acta 1982;281 :488-500.
Herrera F, Adamson RH and Gallo RC. Uptake of transfer ribonucleic
acid by normal and leukemic cells. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.
 Among the human lymphocyte and RNA
retrovirus reproductive stimulants Gallo and his co-workers studied
were: phytohemagglutinin (a plant protein which makes red blood
cells stick together) - see Riddick DH and Gallo RC. The Transfer
RNA Methylases of Human Lymphocytes: Induction by PHA in Normal
Lymphocytes Blood 1971;37;3:282-292.; isopentenyladenosine (a plant
hormone and component of yeast and mammalian tRNA) -- see Gallo RC, Whang-Peng J and Perry
S. Isopentenyladenosine Stimulates and Inhibits Mitosis in Human
Lymphocytes Treated with Phytohemagglutinin. Science; 1969:
165:400-402; dibutyryl adenosine cyclic 3'5'monophosphate (a
chemical messenger and hormone stimulent in cells}--see Gallo RC,
Whang-Peng J. Enhanced Transformation of Human Immunocompetent Cells
by Dibutyryl Adenosine Cyclic 3',5'-Monophosphate. Journal of the
National Cancer Institute. 1971;47;1:91-94; magnesium (an element
and dietary component) see Gallo RC, Sarin PS, Allen, PT, Newton WA,
Priori ES, Bowen JM and Dmochowski L. Reverse Transcriptase in Type
C Virus Particles of Human Origin.
Nature New Biology
1971;232;140-142; Epstein Barr virus (a virus strongly linked to Burkitt's-type lymphoma, cancer of the nasopharynx and infectious
mononucleosis) see Fujioka S and Gallo RC. Aminoacyl Transfer RNA
Profiles in Human Myeloma Cells. Blood 1971; 38;2:246-252; manganese
(a metalic element)-see Smith RG and Gallo RC.
Polymerases I and II from Normal Human-Blood Lymphocytes.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 1972; 69; 1
0:2879-2884; adrenal corticosteroids and related steroid hormones
including dexamethasone, prednisolone,fludrocortisone,
hydrocortisone, corticosterone, cortisone, testosterone,
progesterone, and insulin- see Paran M, Gallo RC, Richardson LS and
Wu AM. Adrenal Corticosteroids Enhance Production of Type-C Virus
Induced by 5-Iodo-2'-Deoxyuridine from Cultured Mouse Fibroblasts.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 1973;70;8:2391-2395.