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The American Red Cross is "right on target" with plans to start testing donated blood for a rare virus linked to a vicious form of adult leukemia, says the National Cancer Institute researcher who first discovered the virus.

Dr. Robert Gallo, a scientist credited with discovering the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1, or HTLV-1, said the nation's blood supply should be tested to protect future generations from the slow-acting but dangerous virus.

In a Science magazine report published Friday, Red Cross scientist recommended that blood donated across the country should be tested for the HTLV-1 virus as soon as a practical test be developed. The recommendation was made after a Red Cross survey found 10 units infected with the virus out of 39,898 units tested.