Dulbecco, with Marguerite Vogt, pioneered the growing of animal viruses
in culture in the 1950s and investigated how certain viruses gain control
of the cells they infect. They showed that polyoma virus, which produces
tumours in mice, inserts its DNA into the DNA of the host cell. The
cell then undergoes transformation (a term used in this restricted sense
by Dulbecco) into a cancer cell, reproducing the viral DNA along with
its own and producing more cancer cells. Dulbecco suggested that human
cancers could be caused by similar reproduction of foreign DNA fragments.
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