Most of us have already had an encounter with the Epstein-Barr virus, or EBV, for short. As part of the herpes family, it’s one of the most common disease-causing viruses in humans. We get the disease with (or without) some nasty symptoms, then we recover. However, EBV stays in our body after the illness has ended, and it’s one of the few viruses known to cause cancer.

About 90% of us still have EBV in our bodies from a past infection — like, say, getting infectious mononucleosis (mono) as a teen — and it will never bother us again. Researchers have been struggling to figure out what… more

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