In 1911, Peyton Rous discovered a virus in the tumor of a chicken. At the time, viruses were poorly understood, and few scientists believed that cancer could be caused by an infection. Nevertheless, Rous persisted in keeping alive the viral theory of cancer causation. The Rous Sarcoma Virus (RSV) has become an essential tool for investigating the cellular mechanisms that go awry in cancer.
Photo by Lubosh Stepanek
The Markus Library
Merrill W. Chase Instrument Collection, exhibit, Peyton Rous, The Markus Library, microbiology