The stability of DNA in host cells is constantly challenged by a variety of errors in replication or as the action of reactive oxidative species. A combination of any of these challenges is linked to a plethora of diseases, including cancer. Some viruses might contribute to genetic instability through insertion of viral DNA into host cells DNA. For example, individuals infected with HIV/AIDS, show a greater increase in certain types of cancer. As such, cancer is the leading cause of death in patients with HIV. By understanding the mechanisms between viral infection and efficiency of DNA repair, cancer rates in HIV patients may decrease.
Hypothesis: Our hypothesis is that the virus-infected cells could not repair their own damaged DNA properly, and as a result, damage is passed onto subsequent generations in the form of mutations.
Students involved: Victoriaja Podlutskaya, Krysta Yancey