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


Alzheimer's may be a collection of diseases that should be treated separately
Deciphering the mechanism that underlies the development of Alzheimer's disease in certain families but not in others, researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Medicine have proposed that the malady is actually a collection of diseases that probably should be treated with a variety of different approaches.

Mad cow disease changed the diet of the Galician wolf
The Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease crisis in Europe was a turning point for the diet of the Galician wolf in Spain, which until the year 2000 had primarily fed on the carrion of domestic animals.

Liquid crystals show potential for detection of neuro-degenerative disease
Liquid crystals are familiar to most of us as the somewhat humdrum stuff used to make computer displays and TVs. Even for scientists, it has not been easy to find other ways of using them.

Finding a way forward in the fight against prion disease
For much of her adult life Valerie Sim has been fascinated by a disease very few in the world can claim to even begin to understand.

Solving the next step in the mystery of prions
Working towards the ultimate goal to develop therapeutics to treat diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, and BSE (Mad Cow Disease), University of Alberta scientists Michael Woodside, Hao Yu, and Derek Dee are investigating the physical principles underlying the formation of misfolded protein aggregates.

UTHealth research: Grass plants can transport infectious prions
Grass plants can bind, uptake and transport infectious prions, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The research was published online in the latest issue of Cell Reports.

Satellite telemetry tracks bearded vultures
The Pyrenees are home to continental Europe's only wild population of bearded vultures, a species classified as endangered in Spain. A study compiled by Spanish researchers reveals - in a level of detail hitherto unseen - the size of the home range of this bird species using satellite tracking technologies.

First successful vaccination against 'mad cow'-like wasting disease in deer
Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere say that a vaccination they have developed to fight a brain-based, wasting syndrome among deer and other animals may hold promise on two additional fronts: Protecting U.S. livestock from contracting the disease, and preventing similar brain infections in humans.

UTHealth researchers discover infectious prion protein in urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
The misfolded and infectious prion protein that is a marker for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - linked to the consumption of infected cattle meat - has been detected in the urine of patients with the disease by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School.

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.
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.

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 (Editor), 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. Those 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 program have precipitated the spread of the disease?

Purdey’s quest to discover the truth was hampered at every turn by government bureaucracies and...

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 Robert Klitzman (Author)


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,...

Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat

Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat
by Howard F. Lyman (Author), Glen Merzer (Author)


Told by the man who kicked off the infamous lawsuit between Oprah and the cattlemen, Mad Cowboy is an impassioned account of the highly dangerous practices of the cattle and dairy industries.

Howard Lyman's testimony on The Oprah Winfrey Show revealed the deadly impact of the livestock industry on our well-being. It not only led to Oprah's declaration that she'd never eat a burger again, it sent shock waves through a concerned and vulnerable public.

A fourth-generation Montana rancher, Lyman investigated the use of chemicals in agriculture after developing a spinal tumor that nearly paralyzed him. Now a vegetarian, he blasts through the propaganda of beef and dairy interests—and the government agencies that protect them—to expose an animal-based diet as the primary...

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
by Michael Greger (Author), Gene Stone (Author)


From the physician behind the wildly popular website NutritionFacts.org, How Not to Die reveals the groundbreaking scientific evidence behind the only diet that can prevent and reverse many of the causes of disease-related death.The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle. In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org, examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America-heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson's, high blood pressure, and more-and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier lives.The...

When Birds Get Flu and Cows Go Mad!: How Safe Are We? (24/7: Science Behind the Scenes: Medical Files)

When Birds Get Flu and Cows Go Mad!: How Safe Are We? (24/7: Science Behind the Scenes: Medical Files)
by John DiConsiglio (Author)


Features:
- High interest/low reading level books for middle- and high-school students
- Attention-grabbing opener to provide immediate visual introduction to each book
- Mock dialogues to present crucial vocabulary terms in context
- Compelling visuals and information to help students build a background in each topic
- Real-life case studies to show scientists' problem-solving processes
- Portfolio of tools, equipment, forms, and other real materials used by experts in the field
- Science as Inquiry out of the classroom and into the real world
- Forensic science is a hot topic, making these books the ones teens will want to read
- Highlights of key historical moments in each discipline
- Current events tie-ins
- Career emphasis, featuring interviews with...

The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child's First Four Years

The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child's First Four Years
by Tara Haelle (Author), Emily Willingham Ph.D. (Author)


The latest scientific research on home birth, breastfeeding, sleep training, vaccines, and other key topics—to help parents make their own best-informed decisions.

In the era of questionable Internet "facts" and parental oversharing, it's more important than ever to find credible information on everything from prenatal vitamins to screen time. The good news is that parents and parents-to-be no longer need to rely on an opinionated mother-in-law about whether it’s OK to eat sushi in your third trimester, an old college roommate for sleep-training “rules,” or an online parenting group about how long you should breastfeed (there’s a vehement group for every opinion). Credible scientific studies are out there – and they’re “bottom-lined” in this book.

The...

Eaternity: More than 150 Deliciously Easy Vegan Recipes for a Long, Healthy, Satisfied, Joyful Life

Eaternity: More than 150 Deliciously Easy Vegan Recipes for a Long, Healthy, Satisfied, Joyful Life
by Jason Wrobel (Author)


Vegan chef and wellness expert Jason Wrobel offers up a comprehensive recipe and lifestyle book with practical tips for creating drool-worthy dishes with specific nutritional benefits. While at its core Eaternity is a cookbook, it’s so much more than that. In it, Jason explains which foods contain active ingredients to support health and longevity. Now, you might be thinking, “What’s the big deal about living a long time?” Well, if you’re having a pretty good time here on planet Earth, wouldn’t you want to stick around as long as possible to enjoy it? And wouldn’t you want to feel great the entire time? 

Unlike most cookbooks that merely tell you what to eat and how to make it, Eaternity gives you the current research and science behind common public health...

Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health

Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health
by Dr. Caroline Leaf (Author)


According to researchers, the vast majority--a whopping 75-98 percent--of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about truly affects us both physically and emotionally. In fact, fear alone triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses in our bodies, activating more than thirty different hormones! Today our culture is undergoing an epidemic of toxic thoughts that, left unchecked, create ideal conditions for illnesses.

Supported by current scientific and medical research, Dr. Caroline Leaf gives readers a prescription for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns, declaring that we are not victims of our biology. She shares with readers the "switch" in our brains that enables us to live happier,...

No More Bull!: The Mad Cowboy Targets America's Worst Enemy: Our Diet

No More Bull!: The Mad Cowboy Targets America's Worst Enemy: Our Diet
by Howard F. Lyman (Author), Glen Merzer (Author), Joanna Samorow-Merzer (Author)


In 1996, when Howard Lyman warned America on The Oprah Winfrey Show that Mad Cow Disease was coming to America, offended cattlemen sued him and Oprah both. Not only were Lyman and Oprah vindicated in court, but events have proved many of Lyman's predictions absolutely right. Mad Cow Disease has come to America, and Lyman argues persuasively in No More Bull! that the problem will only grow more deadly until our government deals with it seriously.
In Mad Cowboy, Lyman, a fourth-generation Montana rancher turned vegetarian then vegan, told the story of his personal transformation after a spinal tumor, which he believes was caused by agricultural chemicals, nearly left him paralyzed. In No More Bull!, Lyman uses his humor, compassion, firsthand experience in agriculture, and command of...

© 2016 BrightSurf.com