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Viruses Trigger Cancer

Individual Science Project

Dara Wong

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Viruses Trigger Cancer

Viruses Trigger Cancer

Benefits of Peyton Rous's Work
Thanks to Peyton Rous, we are now able to give vaccines so that you don't get the virus that triggers cancer. Some types of viruses that can trigger cancer is the Human Papilloma virus, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, and HIV. HPV causes warts on the skin and are transmitted through touch. Both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C give you liver infections that can lead to liver cancer. HIV infects helper T cells which then means that viruses like HPV can trigger cancer. Currently, in B.C., a vaccine for HPV is offered to girls in Grade 6 and Grade 9.
The Beginning of Peyton Rous's Experiments
A farmer had brought Rous a chicken with a big lump on it's body. Rous examined it and told the farmer it was a sarcoma. Sarcomas are tumors that are in connective tissue. Rous decided to experiment a little with this.

Peyton Rous's Experiments
He first wanted to know whether it could be transmitted to close relatives of the chicken. He tested a couple of chickens and found out that indeed, it could be transmitted. In addition, he found out that it became stronger every time he passed it to a new chicken.
Peyton Rous's Experiments
Next, he wanted to see if the was caused by an infectious agent. To do this, he took a sample from the chicken, put it in a saline solution, and then passed it through a filter that disposed of bacteria and tumor cells. After preparing this solution, he injected it into a healthy chicken and contrary to what he expected, the chicken became infected with new tumors!
Before 1911, nobody understood how you became infected by cancer. However, in 1911, one scientist discovered how you could get cancer. His name was Peyton Rous.

Peyton Rous's Experiments
After describing his experiments, he concluded that it must have been "a minute parasitic organism" causing the tumors-a virus. This theory went against everything! Therefore, no one believed him. He felt discouraged and after a few more experiments, he stopped cancer research. It wasn't until the 1930's that something came up. Rous's colleague, Richard Shope, discovered another virus that caused cancer. He found warts in rabbits.
Peyton Rous's Experiments
Peyton Rous returned to studying cancer, and continued to promote the idea of a virus causing cancer. His work finally paid off in 1950. Doctors began to believe the Rous sarcoma virus theory. This was partly because unlike radiation or chemicals, it would produce the same results when you experimented. In the 1960's, a gene called src was found to cause tumors by producing certain proteins. Peyton Rous was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1965, the Lasker Award in 1958, and the Nobel Prize in 1966.
-Peyton Rous
Pictures from Google images
How the Virus Triggers Cancer
The virus triggers cancer by telling the cell certain things. It starts by getting rid of proteins that stop the cell from reproducing. The cells that are disposed of are called suppressor cells. The viruses then code for proteins that will change the cell into a virus-reproducing cell. The cell will begin to reproduce viruses. The virus also turns on and off certain messages of the cell. A message that a virus might turn off would be "Stop reproducing". A message that a virus would turn on would be to "Keep reproducing as much as possible".
cancer- cell that will not stop reproducing
infectious agent- anything that can infect something else
saline solution- a solution that contains salt
sarcomas- tumors in connective tissue
transmitted- passed on
tumors- group of cells
vaccine- a weakened form of a disease given through a needle so that the person's immune system will recognize the virus if they get infected
Fun Facts
1. Viruses trigger about 10-15% of cancers worldwide.
2. There are at least 6 known viruses that trigger cancer.
3. The 6 known viruses that trigger cancer are the Human Papilloma viruses (HPV), the Epstein-Barr virus, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, the Human Herpes virus-8(Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus),and the Human T lymphotrophic virus type 1.
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