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The origin of Aids

Was Aids naturally transferred from primates to human beings? Or was it caused by a live polio vaccine given to thousands of Africans in the 1950s?

By Matt Ridley   June 2000

The death of William Donald Hamilton on 7th March 2000 reverberated through biology like a thunderclap. Hamilton was probably the most famous evolutionary biologist in the world; a man whose bold theories had given birth to fruitful fields of inquiry not once but three times.

It was not the manner of his death which shook his colleagues so much. He died of malaria contracted in the Congo rain forest, where he had been looking for chimpanzee faeces-a tragic but not unsuitable death for a great naturalist whose curiosity about the animals of the tropical forest was an abiding theme of…

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