The investigations reported in the body of the thesis were
initiated at the Lister Institute, London, in November 1937 in collaboration with Dr C.R. Amies, a special grant having been obtained
from the British Empire Cancer Campaign for the specific study of fowl
The programme of work.at the Lister was directed to the evolution
of biochemical and biophysical techniques for the study of these
viruses since such methods had proved their usefulness with plant
viruses and vaccinia.
Though the main requirement for such-techniaues, the rapid and
easy production of large ouantities of virus, was successfully met, the
association of large amounts of inert material of similar chemical and
physical properties to the virus, previously unsuspected, limited the
investigation to immunological methods (1).
An interesting finding derived from this early study was the demonstration that the Des Ligneris sarcoma and the Fujinami sarcoma
were indistinguishable; this was the more remarkable in view of the
origin of the former from chemically treated tissue cultures, while the
latter is a naturally occurring neoplasm (2).
The fowls used for these researches were derived from the Brown
Leghorn flock of Dr Greenwood, maintained at the Institute of Animal
Genetics, Edinburgh. The varying susceptibilities of the individuals
noted during the experiments were found from breeding data supplied by
Dr Greenwood to have a genetic basis. A special grant was obtained to
study this point, and this work was started in 1939. At this time Dr
Amies was appointed to direct the Serum Department at Elstree, and
ceased his connexion with the research programme.
The investigations were resumed at the Institute of Animal
Genetsics, Edinburgh. The different type of facilities here available
resulted in a redirection of the work away from the chemical and
physical aspects to a more biological viewpoint. The discovery of the
recurring tumours led to the recognition of previously unsuspected
carriers of tumour virus in fowls, and attempts were made to evaluate
their importance as sources of infection in poultry flocks (3,8,11,