Mad cow comin' home

1. Mad cow comes to town!

2. Mad-cow history

3. "Abundant caution" or half-measures?

4. Making sense of the threat

5. The weirdest agent

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE): Mad cow disease.

Chronic wasting disease: A TSE in deer and elk.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD): Fatal, human TSE, strikes one person in a million.

Prion: A protein that, when misshapen, can cause other prions to fold wrongly. Causes all TSEs.

Scrapie: A TSE in sheep. Known since the 1700s; does not infect people.

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy: TSE. Infectious brain diseases caused by prions.

Variant CJD (vCJD): The "human" version of mad cow. Similar to CJD; strikes younger people.

Related Why Files
Mad cow, take I

Chronic wasting disease

More on the regulatory picture.

Coping with cannibals

Stem cells and brain disease

Balancing Selection at the Prion Protein Gene Consistent with Prehistoric Kurulike Epidemics, Simon Mead et al, Science, Vol. 300, Issue 5619, 640-643, April 25, 2003

Banning Sale of 'Downer' Meat Represents a Change in Policy, Identical Measure Was Blocked in Congress Just Weeks Ago, Eric Pianin and Guy Gugliotta, Washington Post, December 31, 2003.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and Inclusion Body Myositis: Abundant Disease-Associated Prion Protein in Muscle, Kovacs GG, Lindeck-Pozza E, Chimelli L, Araujo AQ, Gabbai AA, Strobel T, Glatzel M, Aguzzi A, Budka H. Ann Neurol. 2004 Jan;55(1):121-5.

Extraneural Pathologic Prion Protein in Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, M.G. Glatzel et al, The New England Journal of Medicine ,349, 1812 -1820, (2003).

Failure to Detect Prion Protein (PrPres) by Immunohistochemistry in Striated Muscle Tissues of Animals Experimentally Inoculated with Agents of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy, Hamir AN, Miller JM, Cutlip RC, Vet Pathol. 2004 Jan;41(1):78-81.

Prion Disease Treatment's Early Promise Unravels, Peter Follette, Science, 10 Jan 2003, pp. 191-192.

Prions in Skeletal Muscle, Bosque PJ, Ryou C, Telling G, Peretz D, Legname G, DeArmond SJ, Prusiner SB,, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Mar 19;99(6):3812-7.

Use of a Marker Organism To Model the Spread of Central Nervous System Tissue in Cattle and the Abattoir Environment during Commercial Stunning and Carcass Dressing D. J. Daly et al, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Feb. 2002, p. 791-798 Vol. 68, No. 2.

Huge TSE resource at Washington State


A contrary view on BSE.

Prion in mouse muscle

What's the cause of prion diseases? Hypotheses galore on this giant list!

Cattle Prices Sink, Japan to Retain Ban, Bob Burgdorfer, Tue Jan 6, 5:38 PM ET, Business - Reuters, via Yahoo! Flupirtine

New Scientist's BSE archive.

The World Health Organization's BSE fact sheet.

The U.K. BSE Inquiry.

Pryin' on prions.

A humungous web portal devoted to mad cow disease.

A purpose for normal prions?

NOVA's companion site to its mad cow special.

Mad about our credits page?

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