The Atlantic Monthly investigates the claim that a simian monkey virus known as SV40 may cause mesothelioma, a rare but pernicious form of cancer. From 1955 to 1963, the polio vaccine was mass produced using monkey kidneys and thus was contaminated with SV40. According to the magazine's investigation, "the presence of SV40 in human tumors has been reported on in more than forty independent research papers" but federal health officials, who cite two studies to the contrary, believe the positive results were caused by laboratory contamination.
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