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Keyword: prions

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  • Concerns Grow That Infections From 'Zombie Deer' Meat Can Jump To Humans

    01/18/2018 7:54:31 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 22 replies
    NPR ^ | January 17, 20181:25 PM ET | Sam Brasch
    Would you eat venison if there was a chance it could slowly eat away at your brain? If there's a slight possibility, it doesn't bother Patrick States. On the menu this evening for his wife and two daughters at their Northglenn, Colo., home are pan-seared venison steaks with mashed potatoes and a whiskey cream sauce. "We each have our specialty, actually," says States as the steak sizzles. "The girls made elk tamales this morning, but we use [venison or elk] in spaghetti, chili, soup, whatever." The States take pride in skipping the butcher counter at the grocery store. The red...
  • House votes to repeal country-of-origin labeling on meat

    06/11/2015 4:27:10 PM PDT · by Diogenesis · 63 replies
    MyWay ^ | Jun 11, 2015 | MARY CLARE JALONICK
    House votes to repeal country-of-origin labeling on meat WASHINGTON (AP) — Under threat of trade retaliation from Canada and Mexico, the House has voted to to repeal a law requiring country-of-origin labels on packages of beef, pork and poultry. The World Trade Organization rejected a U.S. appeal last month, ruling the labels that say where animals were born, raised and slaughtered are discriminatory against the two U.S. border countries. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said it's up to Congress to change the law to avoid retaliation from the two countries. The law was initially written at the behest of northern...
  • Proteins behind mad-cow disease also help brain to develop

    02/15/2013 1:15:08 AM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Nature News ^ | 14 February 2013 | Mo Costandi
    When not misfolded, prions lend a hand in forming neuronal connections. Prions are best known as the infectious agents that cause ‘mad cow’ disease and the human versions of it, such as variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease. But the proteins also have at least one known useful function, in the cells that insulate nerves, and are suspected to have more. Now researchers have provided the first direct evidence that the proteins play an important role in neurons themselves. The team reports in the Journal of Neuroscience1 that prions are involved in developmental plasticity, the process by which the structure and function of...
  • Prions in the brain eliminated by homing molecules

    04/28/2012 2:16:56 AM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies ^ | April 24, 2012 | NA
    Toxic prions in the brain can be detected with self-illuminating polymers. The originators, at Linköping University in Sweden, has now shown that the same molecules can also render the prions harmless, and potentially cure fatal nerve-destroying illnesses. Linköping researchers and their colleagues at the University Hospital in Zürich tested the luminescent conjugated polymers, or LCPs, on tissue sections from the brains of mice that had been infected with prions. The results show that the number of prions, as well as their toxicity and infectibility, decreased drastically. This is the first time anyone has been able to demonstrate the possibility of...
  • Prions and chaperones: Outside the fold

    02/16/2012 11:49:25 PM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Nature News ^ | 15 February 2012 | Bijal P. Trivedi1
    Susan Lindquist has challenged conventional thinking on how misfolded proteins drive disease and may power evolution. But she still finds that criticism stings. On a frigid winter's morning in 1992, Susan Lindquist, then a biologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, trudged through the snow to the campus's intellectual-property office to share an unconventional idea for a cancer drug. A protein that she had been working on, Hsp90, guides misfolded proteins into their proper conformation. But it also applies its talents to misfolded mutant proteins in tumour cells, activating them and helping cancer to advance. Lindquist suspected that blocking...
  • Prion Diseases: No Accomplice Needed

    01/28/2010 8:22:08 PM PST · by neverdem · 21 replies · 567+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 28 January 2010 | Jennifer Couzin-Frankel
    Enlarge ImageSpongy mess. Injected into mice, synthetic prions punch tiny holes in brain tissue (right), compared with healthy animals (left).Credit: Fei Wang et al., Science Since 1982, when neurologist and biochemist Stanley Prusiner first claimed to purify prion proteins, controversy has dogged the field. Do prions--misfolded versions of healthy protein linked to mad cow and other neurological diseases--infect and cause disease all on their own? Or do they need a partner in crime? Some say a new study provides the most compelling evidence to date for the "protein only" hypothesis. But die-hard skeptics remain unconvinced. Five years ago, Prusiner...
  • 'Lifeless' prion proteins are 'capable of evolution'

    01/07/2010 1:12:54 PM PST · by OldNavyVet · 61 replies · 1,281+ views
    BBC News ^ | 1 January 2010 | BBC News / Scripps Research Institute
    Scientists have shown for the first time that "lifeless" prion proteins, devoid of all genetic material, can evolve just like higher forms of life. The Scripps Research Institute in the US says the prions can change to suit their environment and go on to develop drug resistance. Prions are associated with 20 different brain diseases in humans and animals.
  • Let's Find a Cure for Stupid

    07/02/2008 12:37:09 PM PDT · by pharmamom · 20 replies · 119+ views
    WhenWeAreQueen ^ | July 2, 2008 | pharmamom
    WWAQ, we will unleash the cumulative brainpower of the pharmaceutical industry to find that so-far elusive cure for stupid. Damn the FDA, full speed ahead! I’m not thinking of the Jackass kind of stupid (I was sort-of morbidly fascinated by that movie); that kind of idiocy has a way of taking itself out of the gene pool. Nor am I considering the kind of stupid that leads an 18 year old girl to tattoo a sun around her navel (imagine her face when she gets pregnant and her belly goes supernova). The Queens are looking to cure the kind of...
  • Why you shouldn't eat your mother (Prions)

    09/24/2007 6:21:25 AM PDT · by Renfield · 4 replies · 135+ views
    We live in the age of the prion, says New York writer DT Max in his introduction to this neat little medical whodunit. The claim sounds worthy of a car advert. You are never alone with a prion. That sort of thing. In fact, the prion is a strange, non-living infectious agent whose behaviour was widely disputed until US medical researcher Stanley Prusiner confirmed its existence in a series of elegant experiments that won him a Nobel Prize for physiology in 1997. Now, most scientists accept prions are responsible for a range of modern curses: mad cow disease, the fatal...
  • Early Fix: Prion disease remedied in mice

    02/10/2007 10:41:41 AM PST · by neverdem · 1 replies · 280+ views
    Science News Online ^ | Feb. 3, 2007 | Nathan Seppa
    Mad cow disease and other brain disorders stemming from prion proteins have long resisted cure. Now, in a test in mice, a prion disease caught early has been reversed. Prions—misfolded versions of a natural protein called PrP—trigger normal PrP to misfold in the same way. Over time, prion infection kills so many neurons that the brain becomes riddled with holes. In the new study, neurologist Giovanna R. Mallucci of the Institute of Neurology in London and her colleagues tested whether shutting off the prions' supply of PrP could alter the course of disease. They worked with genetically engineered mice that...
  • Could Genetic Engineering Eradicate Mad Cow Disease?

    01/02/2007 7:31:55 PM PST · by indcons · 17 replies · 412+ views
    Medical News Today ^ | 02 Jan 2007 | Catharine Paddock
    dozen calves that don't have prions - the infectious proteins that cause mad cow disease. The research project is reported in the online journal Nature Biotechnology. Preliminary tests suggest that the brains of the genetically engineered calves are immune to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease). The scientists verified this by trying to infect post mortem brain tissue from two of the 20-month old calves with prions, but the tissue remained healthy. This follows a long process using donor cattle cells in which the gene known to trigger the production of prions was "switched off". The cells were...
  • Prions removed from animal blood

    12/23/2006 12:32:40 PM PST · by neverdem · 21 replies · 537+ views ^ | 22 December 2006 | Michael Hopkin
    Close window Published online: 22 December 2006; | doi:10.1038/news061218-13 Prions removed from animal bloodFiltration technique could make transfusions safer, its inventors say.Michael Hopkin A US-led research team has developed a technique to filter potentially deadly prion proteins from blood. They suggest that the method should be used routinely in attempts to remove prions, which can cause variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), from blood products used for transfusions. The method could offer better protection than the current practice of removing white blood cells from donated blood, say the researchers, led by Robert Rohwer of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Previous studies...
  • New vCJD Scare Rocks The UK

    12/08/2006 12:16:38 PM PST · by blam · 2 replies · 418+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 08 December 2006 | Debora McKenzie
    New vCJD scare rocks the UK 18:10 08 December 2006 news service Debora MacKenzie A third person in the UK has caught variant CJD from another human, in a blood transfusion. Many more people may be at risk of this human form of BSE, experts warn. Three of eight people tested so far in the UK are now confirmed to have been infected with vCJD through blood transfusions, autopsies have revealed. A total of 66 people in UK are known to have received transfusions from blood donors who later went on to develop vCJD. Of those, 34 later died...
  • New approach to BSE successful in lab

    12/01/2006 8:13:57 PM PST · by annie laurie · 6 replies · 422+ views ^ | 1-Dec-2006
    Prion-infected mice survive longer A new method of treatment can appreciably slow down the progress of the fatal brain disease scrapie in mice. This has been established by researchers from the Universities of Munich and Bonn together with their colleagues at the Max Planck Institute in Martinsried. To do this they used an effect discovered by the US researchers Craig Mello and Andrew Fire, for which they were awarded this year’s Nobel Prize for Medicine. Scrapie is a variant of the cattle disease BSE and the human equivalent Creutzfeld-Jakob disease. However, it will take years for the method to be...
  • BSE could incubate in people 50 years or more before symptoms show: study

    06/22/2006 9:52:41 PM PDT · by familyop · 12 replies · 769+ views (The Canadian Press) ^ | 22JUN06 | Sheryl Ubelacker
    TORONTO (CP) - It could take half a century or more for someone infected with prions - the cause of mad cow-like diseases - to start showing symptoms, say researchers, who drew that conclusion after studying a similar illness among Papua New Guinean people who once feasted on their dead. Their findings suggest that the number of human cases of variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (vCJD) could end up being much larger than originally suspected, say the researchers, whose study is published in Friday's edition of The Lancet. With 160 cases, the United Kingdom has the highest number of recorded cases in...
  • U.S. mad cow cases are mysterious strain

    06/11/2006 8:27:46 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies · 448+ views
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer ^ | June 11, 2006 | LIBBy QUAID
    AP FOOD AND FARM WRITER WASHINGTON -- Two cases of mad cow disease in Texas and Alabama seem to have resulted from a mysterious strain that could appear spontaneously in cattle, researchers say. Government officials are trying to play down differences between the two U.S. cases and the mad cow epidemic that has led to the slaughter of thousands of cattle in Britain since the 1980s. It is precisely these differences that are complicating efforts to understand the brain-wasting disorder, known medically as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE for short. "It's most important right now, till the science tells us...
  • Soil-bound Prions That Cause CWD Remain Infectious

    04/16/2006 11:19:58 PM PDT · by neverdem · 21 replies · 818+ views
    Scientists have confirmed that prions, the mysterious proteins thought to cause chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer, latch on tightly to certain minerals in soil and remain infectious. The discovery that prions stay deadly despite sticking to soil comes as a surprise, because while many proteins can bind to soil, that binding usually changes their shapes and activities. In a paper published in the journal PLoS Pathogens (April 14), scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggest that certain soil types serve as natural prion repositories in the wild. As animals regularly consume soil to meet their mineral needs, it's possible...
  • New way to study prions found [CWD]

    03/20/2006 4:15:38 PM PST · by SJackson · 2 replies · 386+ views
    Research could lead to better understanding of wasting diseases By The Associated Press GREAT FALLS -- Scientists at McLaughlin Research Center have discovered a new way to study prions, the infectious agents that cause brain-wasting diseases, and hope the work could lead to a better understanding of who is more at risk to contract such diseases. Scientists infected stem cell cultures from fetal mouse brains with prions and found the infection could be detected within weeks. Injecting mice with the prions and waiting for infection to develop can take months and sometimes years. The tissue cultures allow the researchers to...
  • 'Human remains link' to BSE cases

    02/08/2006 6:32:59 AM PST · by Calpernia · 18 replies · 392+ views
    BBC News science ^ | By Paul Rincon
    The first cases of BSE or "mad cow disease" could have been caused by animal feed contaminated with human remains, says a controversial theory. Some raw materials for fertiliser and feed imported from South Asia in the 60s and 70s contained human bones and soft tissue, the Lancet reports. Bone collectors could have picked up the remains of corpses deposited in the Ganges river to sell for export. If infected with prion diseases, they could have been the source for BSE. But the theory has been greeted with scepticism by several experts on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). The authors admit...
  • Prions Present a Positive Side (stem cells)

    02/03/2006 12:04:32 AM PST · by neverdem · 9 replies · 501+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 30 January 2006 | Jennifer Couzin
    Scientists have long eyed an enigmatic protein called PrP as the culprit behind deadly prion diseases, including "mad cow" disease. Now they've identified one of its functions in healthy animals: helping certain stem cells in bone marrow divide and survive. It's not clear what the find means for the protein's behavior in the brain, but prion experts say that uncovering any function for PrP is a big step forward. PrP is found throughout the body, and it's especially abundant in the brain. In rare cases, PrP can misfold and clump together, potentially leading to fatal prion diseases. But scientists have...