Eliminating Cervical Cancer

In 1976, Harald zur Hausen, a German physician and researcher, first proposed that human papillomaviruses (HPVs) were the cause of cervical cancer. This hypothesis was controversial as the few known HPVs all caused benign skin warts. Additionally, many scientists believed that herpesviruses were implicated in cervical cancer and that the poorly studied HPVs were unlikely …

Rubella Has a Family at Last

Some viruses, such as the human papillomaviruses (HPVs), have co-evolved with mankind throughout evolutionary history. These ancient human viruses often cause silent infections and may establish persistent infections that last for years to decades. Other viruses, often ones associated with common human acute diseases, entered the human population only within the last few millennia. Typically, …

Good News about Papillomavirus-Induced Cancer

The idea that cervical cancer might be caused by a human papillomaviruses (HPVs) was first proposed by Professor Harald zur Hausen, a German physician and virologist, in 1976.  Subsequent research over the next two decades confirmed this hypothesis and led to a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for Dr. zur Hausen in 2008. We …

Hominins and Hominids

Everyone is interested in their ancestors, some people are just interested much further back than others. A recent paper in Nature describes the characterization of the most complete skull fossil ever found for Australopithecus anamensis.  Anamensis is one of the 5 species of Australopithecus, the genus that is believed to have given rise to Homo …