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Robert Timm and collaborators describe virus that causes cancer in cottontail rabbits

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Robert Timm in collaboration with Richard Williams, who completed his Ph.D. with Town Peterson, and colleagues in Spain, recently published their work on the genetics and distribution of Shope’s papillomavirus in cottontail rabbits (PLoS One; http://hdl.handle.net/1808/18200).  This virus is one of the few known to directly cause cancer and has served as a model for the study of human papillomavirus (HPV).  Their research relied heavily on the extensive collections of the Biodiversity Institute; KU has by far the world’s largest collection of rabbits with the virus and Bob has added a number of new specimens to the collection.  One of the highlights of their work is successfully demonstrating that the virus can be identified genetically from rabbit specimens that were obtained 100 years ago.

    



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