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August 21, 1987

Incorrect Quote

JAMA. 1987;258(7):912. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400070050033

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An error occurred in the MEDICAL NEWS & PERSPECTIVES article entitled "DNA Probes Promise to Transform Diagnosis of Infectious Disease," published in the July 17 issue of The Journal (1987;258:301-302). On page 301 a statement attributed to Fred Tenover, PhD, "Some organisms, like the hepatitis B virus, may take up to six weeks to grow out and identify," was in error. The virus mentioned should have been cytomegalovirus, and the quotation should have read as follows: "DNA probes will be useful for diagnosing virus that cannot be propagated, like hepatitis B, or those that require extensive culture time, like cytomegalovirus." On that same page another statement, "... some of [radioactive] isotopes, like125I, pose few hazards... " requires clarification. While125I is less hazardous than32P, because it is deposited principally in the thyroid rather than in bones and tissues, it should still be handled cautiously.