The DNA provirus hypothesis

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Science  11 Jun 1976:
Vol. 192, Issue 4244, pp. 1075-1080
DOI: 10.1126/science.58444


I have discussed the observations and experiments that led to the formulation and establishment of the provirus hypothesis and the DNA provirus hypothesis, which includes RNA-directed DNA synthesis for the formation of the provirus. I have also discussed some aspects of the present status of our knowledge of the mechanism of formation of the DNA provirus both to point out the work remaining to be done and to illustrate hypotheses for the origins of ribodeoxyviruses and the origins of other animal enveloped RNA viruses and of animal small DNA viruses. Finally, I have indicated that I do not believe that infectious viruses cause most human cancers, but I do believe that viruses provide models of the processes involved in the etiology of human cancer.

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