LONDON One of the highlights of the scientific social calendar got underway on 3 July with the opening of the Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2001.

The exhibition runs from 3-5 July and consists of 23 different stands encompassing subjects as diverse as virtual fossils, quantum computers, pressure sensitive paints and nanotechnology.

A team led by Moira Brown at the University of Glasgow presented their work on the treatment of cancer, involving harnessing the ability of viruses to invade cells. By removing a single gene they created a herpes simplex virus strain 1716 (HSV 1716) that selectively replicates within actively dividing cells i.e. cancer cells. In October 1997 they injected these modified HSV 1716 into 9 glioma (a highly malignant tumour) patients with a life expectancy of 3-4 months. Three of these patients are still alive nearly 4 years after the initial treatment.

In order to fully exploit this technology a...

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