Medicine: A Different Kind of AIDS Fight

Scientists engage in a heated transatlantic duel

It is one of the more unseemly rivalries to sully the scientific community in decades. Squaring off across the Atlantic, amid charges, countercharges and growing anger, are researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. At issue: who was first to isolate the virus that causes AIDS and first to develop a blood-screening test to detect AIDS infection. At stake: national pride, possibly a Nobel Prize and perhaps millions of dollars in patent royalties on the blood test.

Last year, after months of feuding, the Pasteur team, headed by Dr. Luc Montagnier,...

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