Thanks Mandi. I was trying to point out that just because we do not know the exact mechanism of how a particular agent causes disease does not invalidate the overwhelming evidence about the cause. I was using cancer as an analogy, not referring to viral causes of cancer. Sorry if that was not clear.


On 4/4/07, Mandi Smallhorne <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I may be wrong, but I think that when Michael spoke of cancer and cell
proliferation, he was not talking of a virus as cause, but of the fact that
tumours are due to the unchecked proliferation of cells. In fact I thought
it fairly clear from his post that he specifically did not point to a viral
cause? While viruses have been postulated and investigated as cause for some
cancers, surely anyone with half an ear to the medical journals and
scientific press knows that cancer is triggered by any number of agents,
from tobacco smoke to industrial pollutants to viruses.


Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
[log in to unmask]