Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

'Mad Cow' blood test now on the horizon

September 12, 2012
A simple blood test for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and Mad Cow disease is a step closer, following a breakthrough by medical researchers at the University of Melbourne.

Using newly available genetic sequencing scientists discovered cells infected with prions (the infectious agent responsible for these diseases) release particles which contain easily recognized 'signature genes'.

Associate Professor Andrew Hill - from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Bio21 Institute - said these particles travel in the blood stream, making a diagnostic blood test a possibility.

"This might provide a way to screen people who have spent time in the UK, who currently face restrictions on their ability to donate blood," he said.

"With a simple blood test nurses could deem a prospective donor's blood as healthy, with the potential to significantly boost critical blood stocks."

Mad Cow disease was linked to the deaths of nearly 200 people in Great Britain who consumed meat from infected animals in the late 1980s.

Since 2000, the Australia Red Cross Blood Service has not accepted blood from anybody who lived in the UK for more than six months between 1980 and 1996, or who received a blood transfusion in the UK after 1980.

The research is published in this week's Oxford University Press Nucleic Acids Research journal.

Lead author Dr Shayne Bellingham said the breakthrough might also help detect other human neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

"This is an exciting new field where we can test for conditions in the brain and throughout the body, without being invasive," he said.

The researchers' genetic testing focused on a form of cell discharge called exosomes.

If exosomes were infected with prions (the pathogen that causes Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, commonly known as Mad Cow Disease) they were found to also carry a specific signature of small genes called microRNA's.

The research was undertaken at the University of Melbourne, with assistance from the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria, the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.

The University of Melbourne


Related Mad Cow Disease Current Events and Mad Cow Disease News Articles


Prion discovery could help keep deadly brain diseases in check
New research from David Westaway, PhD, of the University of Alberta and Jiri Safar, PhD, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has uncovered a quality control mechanism in brain cells that may help keep deadly neurological diseases in check for months or years.

Lasers might be the cure for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, together with researchers at the Polish Wroclaw University of Technology, have made a discovery that may lead to the curing of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (the so called mad cow disease) through photo therapy.

Targeted culling of deer controls disease with little effect on hunting
Chronic wasting disease, the deer-equivalent of mad cow disease, has crept across the U.S. landscape from west to east. It appeared first in captive mule deer in Colorado in the late 1960s.

Researchers estimate 1 in 2,000 people in the UK carry variant CJD proteins
The survey provides the most robust prevalence measure to date - and identifies abnormal prion protein across a wider age group than found previously and in all genotypes.

Recombinant Human Prion Protein Inhibits Prion Propagation
Case Western Reserve University researchers today published findings that point to a promising discovery for the treatment and prevention of prion diseases, rare neurodegenerative disorders that are always fatal. The researchers discovered that recombinant human prion protein stops the propagation of prions, the infectious pathogens that cause the diseases.

Prion-like proteins drive several diseases of aging
Two leading neurology researchers have proposed a theory that could unify scientists' thinking about several neurodegenerative diseases and suggest therapeutic strategies to combat them.

The flexible tail of the prion protein poisons brain cells
Prion proteins are the infectious pathogens that cause Mad Cow Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The ribosome -- a new target for antiprion medicines
New research results from Uppsala University, Sweden, show that the key to treating neurodegenerative prion diseases such as mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease may lie in the ribosome, the protein synthesis machinery of the cell. The results were recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Identify First Potentially Effective Therapy for Human Prion Disease
Human diseases caused by misfolded proteins known as prions are some of most rare yet terrifying on the planet-incurable with disturbing symptoms that include dementia, personality shifts, hallucinations and coordination problems.

Protective prion keeps yeast cells from going it alone
Most commonly associated with such maladies as "mad cow disease" and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, prions are increasingly recognized for their ability to induce potentially beneficial traits in a variety of organisms, yeast chief among them.
More Mad Cow Disease Current Events and Mad Cow Disease News Articles

The Pathological Protein: Mad Cow, Chronic Wasting, and Other Deadly Prion Diseases

The Pathological Protein: Mad Cow, Chronic Wasting, and Other Deadly Prion Diseases
by Philip Yam (Author)


Prions are an entirely new class of pathogens, and scientists are just beginning to understand them. Although they have plagued humans and animals for 3 centuries, only in the last 2 decades have researchers linked them to diseases like Mad Cow. This book tells the strange story of their discovery, and the medical controversies that swirl around them. The author, Philip Yam, is a well-respected and connected journalist who is now an editor at Scientific American.

How the Cows Turned Mad: Unlocking the Mysteries of Mad Cow Disease

How the Cows Turned Mad: Unlocking the Mysteries of Mad Cow Disease
by Maxime Schwartz (Author), Edward Schneider (Translator), Marion Nestle (Translator)


Fear of mad cow disease, a lethal illness transmitted from infected beef to humans, has spread from Europe to the United States and around the world. Originally published to much acclaim in France, this scientific thriller, available in English for the first time and updated with a new chapter on developments in 2001, tells of the hunt for the cause of an enigmatic class of fatal brain infections, of which mad cow disease is the latest incarnation. In gripping, nontechnical prose, Maxime Schwartz details the deadly manifestations of these diseases throughout history, describes the major players and events that led to discoveries about their true nature, and outlines our current state of knowledge. The book concludes by addressing the question we all want answered: should we be...

Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) (Deadly Diseases and Epidemics)

Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) (Deadly Diseases and Epidemics)
by Carmen Ferreiro (Author)




Brain Trust: The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer's Disease

Brain Trust: The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer's Disease
by Colm A. Kelleher (Author)


On December 23, 2003 authorities announced that the first case of Mad Cow Disease in the United States had been found in a dairy cow in Mabton, Washington. The admission, though downplayed, hides a frightening reality. For thirty years, a covert sampling operation has been conducted on North American cattle to reveal how far the deadly prions that are thought to cause Mad Cow Disease have spread thought the nation's livestock. These efforts may be too late: BRAIN TRUST warns of an impending public health catastrophe as the American food supply, and other countries to which they export, becomes progressively more contaminated. Although statistics argue that only one in a million people become affected with the human version of Mad Cow Disease, research on many postmortem brains of...

The Trembling Mountain: A Personal Account of Kuru, Cannibals, and Mad Cow Disease

The Trembling Mountain: A Personal Account of Kuru, Cannibals, and Mad Cow Disease
by Da Capo Press


Kuru, like Mad Cow disease, is caused by a rare, infectious crystal protein that invades and colonizes human cells, destroying the nervous system of its victims. There is no known cure. It flourished in one of the remotest places on earth, Papua New Guinea, among the Fore, a people living in the Stone Age, who until recently practiced ritual cannibalism, consuming the brains of their forebears during funerary feasts. Robert Klitzman helped establish the links between these rituals and kuru. What he discovered has provided keys to understanding the mysterious Mad Cow Disease, which may become the world's next major epidemic. Robert Klitzman was 21 years old when he was invited by the Nobel prize-winning scientist Dr. Carleton Gajdusek, then at the National Institutes of Health,...

Animal Pharm: One Manâs Struggle to Discover the Truth about Mad Cow Disease and Variant CJD

Animal Pharm: One Man’s Struggle to Discover the Truth about Mad Cow Disease and Variant CJD
by Mark Purdey (Author), Nigel Purdey (Editor)


Mark Purdey's life changed one day in 1984 when a Ministry of Agriculture inspector told him he must administer a toxic organophosphate pesticide to his dairy herd. Passionately committed to organic farming and convinced of the harmful effects of chemicals in the environment, he refused to comply. 'It was as if my whole life became focused', he explained later. Before they had a chance to prosecute, Purdey took the Ministry to court and won his case. These experiences led him to challenge the orthodox line on the origins of Mad Cow Disease and its human counterpart variant CJD. Could the insecticide used in the official programme have precipitated the spread of the disease?Purdey's quest to discover the truth was hampered at every turn by government bureaucracies and self-serving...

Mad Cows and Cannibals, A Guide to the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Booklet)

Mad Cows and Cannibals, A Guide to the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Booklet)
by Charlotte A. Spencer (Author)


Mad Cows and Cannibals guides readers through the complex world of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs)—bizarre, degenerative brain diseases that affect both animals and humans. In clear and accessible language, it provides basic explanations of the science and issues surrounding Mad Cow Disease and related conditions. It begins with stories of ritualistic cannibalism in the highlands of New Guinea, and leads to the modern agricultural feeding practices that triggered the Mad Cow Disease epidemic in Great Britain, and to recent outbreaks of Chronic Wasting Disease in North America. It explains the biology of TSEs and explores how political and social actions can contribute to their spread, answering important questions about how TSEs affect the safety of our food...

The Burgess Boys: A Novel

The Burgess Boys: A Novel
by Elizabeth Strout (Author)


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Includes Elizabeth Strout’s never-before-published essay about the origins of The Burgess Boys

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post • NPR • Good Housekeeping

Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” wrote The New Yorker on the publication of her Pulitzer Prize–winning Olive Kitteridge. The San Francisco Chronicle praised Strout’s “magnificent gift for humanizing characters.” Now the acclaimed author returns with a stunning novel as powerful and moving as any work in contemporary literature.
 
Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as...

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs,  and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers
by David Perlmutter (Author), Kristin Loberg (Contributor)


A #1 New York Times bestseller--the devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain, with a 4-week plan to achieve optimum health.

Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that's been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age. He offers an in-depth look at how we can take control of our "smart genes" through specific...

Madness and Memory: The Discovery of Prions--A New Biological Principle of Disease

Madness and Memory: The Discovery of Prions--A New Biological Principle of Disease
by Stanley B. Prusiner (Author)


In 1997, Stanley B. Prusiner received a Nobel Prize, the world's most prestigious award for achievement in physiology or medicine. That he was the sole recipient of the award for the year was entirely appropriate. His struggle to identify the agent responsible for ravaging the brains of animals suffering from scrapie and mad cow disease, and of humans with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, had been waged largely alone and in some cases in the face of strenuous disagreement.
 
In this book, Prusiner tells the remarkable story of his discovery of prions—infectious proteins that replicate and cause disease but surprisingly contain no genetic material—and reveals how superb and meticulous science is actually practiced with talented teams of researchers who persevere. He recounts the...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com