Prions – The Misshapen Protein That Causes Mad Cow and CJ Disease

Cow infected by Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) that destroys brain tissue, on right, with a myriad of holes that resemble a sponge. Photographs courtesy www.mad-cow.org.
Cow infected by Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) that destroys brain tissue, on right, with a myriad of holes that resemble a sponge. Photographs courtesy www.mad-cow.org.


January 21, 2001  Europe - Mad cow disease once thought to be confined to England continues to be found in western Europe. This past week scientists announced the discovery of a diseased cow in Italy. The term "mad cow" comes from the shaking and stumbling of sick animals before they die. The scientific name is bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, now thought to have spread by recycling meat and bone meal from infected animals back into cattle feed. But even after strict measures were taken in England and other European countries to eliminate infected cattle feed, mad cow disease cases have been reported in several western European countries.

 

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