Medicine: Viruses and Cancer

Doctors have long known that viruses can cause cancers in mice, cats and other animals. But can these microscopic packets of nucleic acids* also cause cancers in humans? Last week virologists attending a science writers' seminar sponsored by the American Cancer Society in St. Augustine, Fla., offered new arguments that they could. They provided no definite proof, but they did succeed in establishing a case of guilt by association.

Virologists offered as a prime suspect the herpes simplex Type 2 virus, a variant of the virus responsible for cold sores. Herpes 2, which...

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