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Writing Exercise #2

Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been shown to be the etiological agent of cervical cancer in women. Harald zur Hausen was initially able to demonstrate that HPV16 and HPV18 could be found in cervical cancer cells via Southern blot analysis. Subsequently, vaccines for HPVs 16 and 18 were developed and eventually released for use. There were also found to be several strains of HPV which could possibly considered carcinogens divided into two groups: the high-risk HPVs and other strains of HPV which likely exhibit activity as a carcinogen, though with the rigorous criteria required to make that link they are less supported. As a result, I would recommend development of treatment for HPVs 31 and 45. These are the two strains of high-risk HPV other than 16 and 18, which as mentioned already have available vaccines. Developing treatment for two strains would be greatly more manageable than tackling all strains associated with cancer and HPVs 16, 18, 31 and 45 account for 80% of cervical cancers, so it would be beneficial to expand treatment to the latter two strains. Treatments may be administered any time after the immune system matures, but preferably at an earlier age. Although HPV is accepted as necessary for cervical cancers to occur, they are not sufficient to cause cancer on their own. Observations indicate that accumulated genetic and epigenetic factors all play into cancer development and as a result, cancer will not develop immediately but rather several years down the line. This results in a slightly expanded time window with which treatment can be given.

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Writing Exercise #1

Traditional infectious disease deaths have declined in modern times with the advent of microbiology and better medical techniques. Where those diseases directly linked to microbes used to the leading causes of death, they have been replaced with non-infectious diseases. With this advanced technology, we have also discovered that microbes influence us in many ways and contribute to non-infectious diseases including heart disease, cancer, stroke, pulmonary disease, diabetes, and even mental disorders such as suicide and depression.

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