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A Contagious Cause – The American Hunt for Cancer Viruses and the Rise of Molecular Medicine - Chicago Scholarship Online
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A Contagious Cause: The American Hunt for Cancer Viruses and the Rise of Molecular Medicine

Robin Wolfe Scheffler

Abstract

A Contagious Cause follows the American hunt for human cancer viruses throughout the twentieth century, an effort whose scale exceeded that of the Human Genome Project. Today, viral infection is thought to be responsible for as many as one in six cancers around the world, but the idea was controversial at the start of the century. The disease causation framework of germ theory was poorly suited to both cancer and viral disease. The campaign to find cancer viruses combined strategies of public health deployed against contagious disease, such as vaccination, with new biomedical approaches to chr ... More

Keywords: cancer, virus, molecular biology, biomedicine, public health, chronic disease, health policy, infrastructure, germ theory, contagion

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780226458892
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2020 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226628400.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robin Wolfe Scheffler, author
Massachusetts Institute of Technology