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.
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.
The culprit behind mad cow disease, a.k.a. bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is the most infamous mammalian form of prions. Prions are misfolded proteins that are capable of growing, replicating, and being passed on to daughter cells, that is, they are by themselves heritable. Beyond their disease manifestation, prions also occur naturally in some organisms (such as yeast) and may play important roles in their growth and development. Now, Osherovich and colleagues have identified the amino acid sequences that allow prions to aggregate and replicate, and thereby pass through generations of cells - and prove this by designing an artificial yeast prion that does not exist in nature.