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A Contagious CauseThe American Hunt for Cancer Viruses and the Rise of Molecular Medicine$
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Robin Wolfe Scheffler

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226458892

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226628400.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 04 June 2020



Afterlife, Memory, and Failure in Biomedical Research

(p.229) Conclusion
A Contagious Cause

Robin Wolfe Scheffler

University of Chicago Press

The conclusion argues that the links that new understandings of cancer viruses helped draw between virology and molecular biology were essential to the growth of molecular medicine. While the Virus Cancer Program did not produce a vaccine against cancer, the community of retrovirus researchers that it trained played a vital role in responding to AIDS. Meanwhile, as the effort to find a cancer vaccine in the United States was abandoned, links between hepatitis B virus infection and liver cancer and later between Human Papilloma Virus and various cancers, suggested that national borders still shape how we understand the cancer problem in global health. Finally, the War on Cancer shaped the politics of the Human Genome project and the biotechnology industry.

Keywords:   afterlife, HIV/AIDS, Virus Cancer Program, hepatitis B virus, human papilloma virus, human genome project, biotechnology, failure, global health, vaccine

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