Mad Cow Disease or BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) is a progressive neurological disorder of cattle that results from infection by an unusual transmissible agent called a prion. The nature of the transmissible agent is not well understood. Currently, the most accepted theory is that the agent is a modified form of a normal protein known as prion protein. For reasons that are not yet understood, the normal prion protein changes into a pathogenic (harmful) form that then damages the central nervous system of cattle.
A large number of diseases − including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and mad cow disease − are the result of proteins that erroneously assume the wrong shape, causing them to stick to each other.
“This prion,” explains Lindquist, “has a capacity to hide and release genetic information throughout the entire genome that can contribute to new traits in a complex way.”
Scientists have produced a prion protein that can trigger the development of a neurological disorder in mice that is similar to "mad cow" disease, according to a new study supported by the National Institute on Aging, a part of the National Institutes of Health.
Orchid BioSciences has announced that its animal genetic testing facility in the U.K. has completed DNA testing of its one millionth sheep for scrapie susceptibility.
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman has announced three actions being taken to further strengthen existing safeguards that protect consumers against the agent that causes bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as “mad cow disease”).
According to new French research reported in le figaro more than 300,000 French cows would have been infected by the agent BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy ) since the 1980's.
Only a small percentage of U.S. beef consumers changed their buying habits after December's Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy-positive case in Washington, according to a recent national survey from Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.
Carol Tucker Foreman, director of Consumer Federation of America's Food Policy Institute, joined Consumers Union, Public Citizen and R-CALF in calling on the Bush Administration to remedy failures and improve protection against BSE.
When proteins in our body work properly, we can see, smell, consume and digest food, grow muscle and brain cells. But when these infinitely useful biological building blocks fail, the most pernicious diseases arise. Susan Lindquist has scrutinized the complex origami-like shapes of proteins and come to understand how structural mistakes can lead to a frightening class of neurodegenerative disorders, including “Mad Cow Disease.”
Amyloid fibers, those clumps of plaque-like proteins that clog up the brains of Alzheimer's patients, have perplexed scientists with their robust structures. In laboratory experiments, they are able to withstand extreme heat and cold and powerful detergents that cripple most other proteins.
The Department of Health and Senior Services released a report today on an investigation of a suspected cluster of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) associated with the Garden State Racetrack.
On Friday, April 30th, the Food and Drug Administration learned that a cow with central nervous system symptoms had been killed and shipped to a processor for rendering into animal protein for use in animal feed.
International experts today concluded a three-day international consultation on zoonoses, held by the World Health Organization (WHO) together with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), in collaboration with the Dutch Health Council.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is hosting a three-day consultation to identify the factors that allow diseases to jump from animals to humans (zoonoses), as well as to improve surveillance systems for their monitoring and control.
The meat of Australia's bush kangaroo may be the highest known source of the healthy fat CLA, a University of Western Australia and CSIRO sponsored PhD student has discovered.
The Food and Drug Administration today announced a successful resolution of an issue arising out of the January, 2004 decision by the Chinese government to suspend on public health grounds the importation of United States cosmetics.
The common perception that if medication is natural then it must be safe has recently come under fire from a researh by a Consumer Reports magazine. The consumer publication found a dozen herbal supplements, some banned in Asia, Europe and Canada but widely available in the United States, may cause cancer, kidney or liver damage and even death.
Due to changing blood donor criteria, donor deferral rates have been increasing since 1999 with trend lines predicting additional deferral increases. This predicament has created a critical demand for new people to step forward to donate to ensure there is an adequate supply of blood for hospital patients in New York and New Jersey who require life-saving transfusions, reports New York Blood Center (NYBC) officials.
Consumer trust in food is high in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Norway, but low in Italy and Portugal and relatively low in Germany. Research also shows that consumers in these countries are most sceptical about meat products, fast-food outlets and food processors.
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. has announced today that its joint venture with the American Red Cross, Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technology Inc. ("PRDT"), has confirmed that treatment of TSE spiked red blood cell concentrate with its Prion Reduction Device results in a significant decrease in associated infectivity.