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


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.

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.
More Mad Cow Disease Current Events and Mad Cow Disease News Articles

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...

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.

Mad Cow Disease: Webster's Timeline History, 1986 - 2007

Mad Cow Disease: Webster's Timeline History, 1986 - 2007
by Icon Group International (Author)


Webster's bibliographic and event-based timelines are comprehensive in scope, covering virtually all topics, geographic locations and people. They do so from a linguistic point of view, and in the case of this book, the focus is on "Mad Cow Disease," including when used in literature (e.g. all authors that might have Mad Cow Disease in their name). As such, this book represents the largest compilation of timeline events associated with Mad Cow Disease when it is used in proper noun form. Webster's timelines cover bibliographic citations, patented inventions, as well as non-conventional and alternative meanings which capture ambiguities in usage. These furthermore cover all parts of speech (possessive, institutional usage, geographic usage) and contexts, including pop culture, the arts,...

The Cow

The Cow
by Ariana Reines (Author)


This text is filthy and fertilized, filling and emptying, filling and emptying, atrocious and politic with meaning. The Cow is a mother, a lover, and a murdered lump of meat, rendered in the strongest of languages. "I cannot count the altering that happens in the very large rooms that are the guts of her."

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...

Mad Cow Disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Mad Cow Disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
by Geoffrey S. Becker (Author), Curtis W. Copeland (Author), Sarah A. Lister (Author)


This book presents important analyses of current issues in BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or "mad cow disease") as a fatal neurological disease of cattle, believed to be transmitted mainly by feeding infected cattle parts back to cattle. More than 187,000 cases have been reported world-wide, 183,000 of them in the United Kingdom (UK) where BSE was first identified in 1986. The annual number of new cases has declined steeply since 1992. Humans who eat contaminated beef are believed susceptible to a rare, but fatal brain wasting disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD). About 160 people have been diagnosed with vCJD since 1986, most in the UK and none linked to any Canadian or U.S. meat consumption.

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...

The Trembling Mountain

The Trembling Mountain
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, to conduct...

Mad Cow Disease (Diseases and Disorders)

Mad Cow Disease (Diseases and Disorders)
by Barbara Sheen (Author)




Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public
by Steven M. Druker (Author)


This book uncovers the biggest scientific fraud of our age. It tells the fascinating and frequently astounding story of how the massive enterprise to restructure the genetic core of the world's food supply came into being, how it advanced by consistently violating the protocols of science, and how for more than three decades, hundreds of eminent biologists and esteemed institutions have systematically contorted the truth in order to conceal the unique risks of its products–and get them onto our dinner plates. Altered Genes, Twisted Truth provides a graphic account of how this elaborate fraud was crafted and how it not only deceived the general public, but Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Barack Obama and a host of other astute and influential individuals as well. The book also exposes how the...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com