The Naked Scientists Forum
Cells, Microbes & Viruses
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Dare to be yourself!
23/01/2008 14:34:24 »
Can someone give me a breif description of a wart is? e.g how we get one, why we get them, what is their purpose?
and howcome a guy i know put (m)ethanol (is it methanol or ethanol?) on his wart..and after a week it has nearly gone!?
Reply #1 on:
02/02/2008 05:05:08 »
Nearly 100 different types of Human Papillomavirus cause genital warts, other viruses cause other kinds of warts as well. These viruses, whent they get into your epithelial skin cells, hijack the cells' reproduction "machinery". That is, they incorporate their own DNA or RNA into the cells' DNA. When the cell goes to reproduce, it instead makes copies of the virus. As the DNA is hijacked, some of these changes activate certain codes within the DNA that make the cell reproduce many times over. This is the wart that you see... It's what we call a neoplasm, or new growth. Sometimes, warts serve the purpose of being a barrier between the infected cells or pus vesicles and other cells, to keep the virus from spreading. Other times, they do completely the opposite... The warts might be loaded with virus and help the virus jump to other cells (or people).
As to the methanol/ethanol question... Those chemicals dry out tissues. We use them in the lab to take water out of tissues and replace the water with, say, wax, so we can slice the tissue thin and look at it under the microscope. Perhaps when applying the alcohol to the wart, it dries the wart, so it falls off. I don't recommend at-home treatments for genital warts, or moles that look like warts. You should alway seek medical care before performing procedures on yourself. Come on, you've heard Dr. Chris... You know better!