Saturday, June 10, 2006

Vaccine for cervical cancer: behind the scenes

I am intrigued by the presentation of this research in this press release on Eurekalert!

"Creation of a successful vaccine against cervical cancer, approved today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is the culmination of research that occurred thanks not only to scientists and physicians, but also to generous farmers and veterinarians, priests and nuns willing to tell all – and some very patient cows. At the University of Rochester Medical Center, the initial research more than 20 years ago included visits to veterinarians and meat-packaging plants in Upstate New York to collect scrapings from "prized" cow warts, and surveys of people unlikely to be infected with a sexually transmitted disease – priests and nuns who had taken a vow of celibacy. The work with the cows, the warts, the nuns and the priests illustrates how basic research can pay off in big and unexpected ways.