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A possible herpes virus may be a cause of the most common deadly cancer to strike people with AIDS, genetic evidence uncovered by researchers from Columbia University and elsewhere suggests. In an article to be published Friday in the journal Science, the medical team reports that it has isolated unique gene fragments in tissues of Kaposi's sarcoma lesions from AIDS patients, and that the cancer -- known to appear in more than a fourth of male AIDS patients -- could stem from a previously-unknown herpes strain. If the findings are confirmed, further work could lead to a diagnostic test to find people susceptible to the disease, plus a drug that could kill the virus and thus prevent the cancer.