50-year-old research issue still biting biologists

Enlarge / HeLa cells, long after it was apparent they were trying to take over the world. (credit: Tom Deerinck/NIH)

Normally, news involves something that is, as the name implies, new. But this week, attention was given to a problem in biology that is anything but new. There have been decades of warnings that researchers sometimes perform studies using cells that have been misidentified—presented as liver cells when in fact they're derived from the spleen, for example. As cell lines...

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