Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

In 2017 we celebrated five years of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science

09 April 2013

Viral Cancer

Cancer isn’t often viral in cause, but Dr Clare Davy here reveals how a tiny virus with only eight genes can cause cervical cancer in adult women. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)16 is everywhere and spreads through sexual contact. Most infections don’t lead to cancer. However, in a small number of women the immune system can’t flush the virus out and cervical cancer results. Clare explains how HPV16 sometimes stops reproducing, instead making cervical cells divide out of control. She wants to understand how the viral genes cause body cells to become cancerous.

Written by Brona McVittie

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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