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Emerging Virus in Raccoons May Provide Cancer Clues

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Rare brain tumors emerging among raccoons in Northern California and Oregon may be linked to a previously unidentified virus discovered by a team of researchers, led by scientists from the University of California, Davis. Their findings, published today in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, could lead to a better understanding of how viruses can cause cancer in animals and humans.

Necropsies conducted since March 2010 by scientists at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and UC Davis-led California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory found brain tumors in 10 raccoons, nine of which were from Northern California, the article reports. The 10th was sent to UC Davis by researchers at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore.

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