A fast test to diagnose fatal brain conditions such as mad cow disease in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans could be on the horizon, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health scientists. Researchers at NIH’s National I…
AMES, Iowa — The eyes of sheep infected with scrapie — a neurological disorder similar to mad cow disease — return an intense, almost-white glow when they’re hit with blue excitation light, according to a research project led by Iowa State Univ…
The combination of high temperature and very high pressure in the preparation of processed meats such as hot dogs and salami may effectively reduce the presence of infective prions while retaining the taste, texture, and look of these meats, according to a study in today?s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Early Edition.
Prions–their existence is intriguing and their links to disease are unsettling. These unconventional infectious agents are involved in mad cow disease and other fatal brain illnesses in humans and animals, rattling prior assumptions about the spread of infections. Dartmouth Medical School biochemists studying the mysteries of these prion particles have discovered a novel step in their formation. Their results, reported in a recent issue of Biochemistry could help provide a new approach for therapy against prion diseases. The team, headed by Dr. Surachai Supattapone, assistant professor of biochemistry and of medicine, includes Ralf Lucassen and Koren Nishina.
Researchers say they’ve developed a new test for prions that improves the accuracy and speed with which the malformed and infectious proteins can be detected. Prions cause neurodegenerative diseases in sheep, deer and elk, plus Mad Cow disease in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob in humans.
Researchers may have discovered the mechanism behind how prions ? pieces of protein molecules? can kill nerve cells in the brain and lead to some serious degenerative diseases. The key seems to lie in how one particular protein misfolds within an organelle inside the cell, transforming itself into a new agent and then poisoning the neuron in which it was made.
Meat-eating is on the rise around the globe, a trend that could raise the risk of animal disease spread across borders, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said this week in a document circulated at a meeting on meat and dairy products. Worldwide meat consumption is expected to grow by 2 percent each year until 2015 — the result of population increases, rising incomes, and the movement of people from rural areas to cities. “However, increased volume of trade and improvements in transportation, infrastructure and technology hold potential risks of spreading of animal diseases rapidly worldwide,” FAO warned.