Dr. Yuan Chang #AsianPacificAmericanHeritageMonth #APAHM #AAPIHM
Today we celebrate virologist and pathologist Dr. Yuan Chang who co-discovered the AIDS-associated Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus and Merkel cell polyomavirus, two of the seven known human oncoviruses.
Of all the enigmas of AIDS, few match that of Kaposi’s sarcoma, which has stumped the best scientific minds investigating AIDS. Once a rare cancer in the United States, Kaposi’s sarcoma became epidemic along with AIDS about 1981. No one has figured out why the sarcoma is far more common among gay men than all other types of AIDS patients….
Now a team of newcomers to the field of AIDS research has turned up what appears to be a highly promising lead. Last week Dr. Yuan Chang and her husband, Dr. Patrick S. Moore, who are researchers at Columbia University, said they had detected fragments of a possible newly discovered human virus, along with tantalizing evidence that the agent might cause Kaposi’s sarcoma.
[They developed] the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory technique. Known as representational difference analysis, it compares the DNA in cells from diseased and normal tissues of the body, and pinpoints significant differences in their chemical sequences. The team’s hope was that by comparing tissue from Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions with normal skin from the same individual, they would spot genetic differences that might be the inserted genetic material of an infectious agent.
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