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The Harold Varmus Papers

Letter from Harold Varmus to Kumao Toyoshima, Institute of Medical Science (Japan) pdf (56,001 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Harold Varmus to Kumao Toyoshima, Institute of Medical Science (Japan)
Number of Image Pages:
1 (56,001 Bytes)
1982-07-26 (July 26, 1982)
Varmus, Harold
Toyoshima, Kumao
Institute of Medical Science (Japan)
Original Repository: University of California, San Francisco. Archives and Special Collections. Harold E. Varmus Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Regents of the University of California.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Terminology as Topic
Exhibit Category:
Retroviruses and the Genetic Origins of Cancer, 1970-1993
Metadata Record Letter from Kumao Toyoshima, Institute of Medical Science (Japan) to Harold Varmus (June 28, 1982) pdf (88,660 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 2
Folder Number: 13
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: UCSF Collections
SubSeries: Collection Number MSS 88-47
SubSubSeries: Human Retrovirus Study Group, 1981-1987
Folder: Human retrovirus study group correspondence, 1981-1987
July 26, 1982
Dear Kumao:
Thanks for your letter about the inevitable problems over the nomenclature of human leukemia viruses. Personally I share your view that a broad category of human retroviruses should be established, as has been done for other animal species; I would prefer to abbreviate this class as HuLV to maintain a clear distinction from hamster viruses (HaLVs). I agree that the isolates to date should be kept distinct unless they can be shown to be identical (an unlikely prospect); the precedents for (and wisdom of) maintaining such distinctions are obvious within and outside retrovirology. The need to establish a general category might be greater if there were other entries, as I expect will ultimately be the case. It would be premature, in my view, to start naming endogenous HuLV'S based solely upon isolation of endogenous proviral-like elements, unless some of these prove to be infectious, with or without helper.
I think it would be sensible to name a sub-committee within the Retrovirus Study Group to consider this issue further and come up with a proposal. I would suggest that Natalie Teich chair the subcommittee and that you, Hinuma, Gallo, and Oroszlan participate.
Let me know what you think of this, and I will then contact the potential members of this subcommittee.
With best regards,
Harold E. Varmus, M.D.
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