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The Harold Varmus Papers

Letter from Peter K. Vogt, University of Southern California School of Medicine to Harold Varmus pdf (78,723 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Peter K. Vogt, University of Southern California School of Medicine to Harold Varmus
Number of Image Pages:
2 (78,723 Bytes)
1975-03-11 (March 11, 1975)
Vogt, Peter K.
University of Southern California School of Medicine
Varmus, Harold
Original Repository: University of California, San Francisco. Archives and Special Collections. Harold E. Varmus Papers
Reproduced with permission of Peter K. Vogt.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Terminology as Topic
Exhibit Category:
Retroviruses and the Genetic Origins of Cancer, 1970-1993
Metadata Record Letter from Harold Varmus to Peter K. Vogt, University of Southern California School of Medicine (March 19, 1975) pdf (114,765 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 6
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: UCSF Collections
SubSeries: Collection Number MSS 84-25
SubSubSeries: Correspondence, 1971-1984
Folder: Correspondence, 1975
March 11, 1975
Dear Harold:
I am sending you the draft of a virus characterization prepared for the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The data, compiled by the RNA Tumor Virus Study Group of the ICTV, pertain to enveloped RNA viruses of vertebrates which replicate through a DNA provirus. The data sheets follow standard ICTV format. As chairman of the RNA Tumor Virus Study Group within the ICTV, I would appreciate receiving your comments and criticisms on this document before I submit it to the Vertebrate Virus Subcommittee of the ICTV in April. I would be particularly interested in your reaction to the proposed nomenclature and taxonomic structure. My feeling is that a majority of workers in the field are in favor of the term retravirus as a family name including not only RNA tumor viruses but also foamy agents and slow viruses like visna. There also seems to be some sentiment in favor of oncornavirus to designate the genera of RNA tumor viruses. However, there are many workers who for some reason dislike these names -- oncorna also violates the ICTV rule that names made up of abbreviations may not be used -- and now is the last chance to make a better and perhaps a successful counterproposal. The ICTV will meet on the occasion of the International Congress of Virology in Madrid, September 9 - 17, 1975 and will vote on proposals of virus nomenclature and taxonomy. There will also be an open session on this subject organized by the ICTV in Madrid. An announcement about these meetings may be found in the December 1974 issue of Virology.
With all good wishes.
Sincerely yours,
Peter K. Vogt
P.S. Harold, I would be very grateful for your reaction to nomenclature and virus terms. Do you think retraviruses and oncornaviruses are now unavoidable? Is the proposed taxonomic status of RNA tumor viruses (that of genus) sufficient or should it be a family? Have I omitted any important data on B-type viruses?
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