Mad cow detected in blood

Aug 29, 2005

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have found a way to detect mad cow disease in blood.

The discovery is expected to lead to a much more effective detection method for the infectious proteins responsible for brain-destroying disorders, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE in cattle and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or vCJD in humans.

The blood test would make it much easier to keep BSE-infected beef out of the human food supply, ensure that blood transfusions and organ transplants do not transmit vCJD, and give researchers their first chance to figure out how many people may be incubating the disease, according to senior author Claudio Soto.

"The concentration of infectious prion protein in blood is far too small to be detected by the methods used to detect it in the brain, but we know it's still enough to spread the disease," said Soto. "The key to our success was developing a technique that would amplify the quantity of this protein more than 10 million-fold, raising it to a detectable level."

The findings appear online in Nature Medicine.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: And now the Acropolis is crumbling...

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nanoparticles give up forensic secrets

1 hour ago

A group of researchers from Switzerland has thrown light on the precise mechanisms responsible for the impressive ability of nanoparticles to detect fingermarks left at crime scenes.

Study shows sharks have personalities

2 hours ago

Some sharks are 'gregarious' and have strong social connections, whilst others are more solitary and prefer to remain inconspicuous, according to a new study which is the first to show that the notorious ...

Desktop device to make key gun part goes on sale in US

2 hours ago

The creator of the world's first 3D plastic handgun unveiled Wednesday his latest invention: a pre-programmed milling machine that enables anyone to easily make the core component of a semi-automatic rifle.

Twitter-funded lab to seek social media insights

3 hours ago

A new Twitter-funded research project unveiled Wednesday, with access to every tweet ever sent, will look for patterns and insights from the billions of messages sent on social media.

Recommended for you

Power can corrupt even the honest

11 hours ago

When appointing a new leader, selectors base their choice on several factors and typically look for leaders with desirable characteristics such as honesty and trustworthiness. However once leaders are in power, can we trust ...

Learning at 10 degrees north

11 hours ago

Secluded beaches, calypso music and the entertaining carnival are often what come to mind when thinking of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. But Dal Earth Sciences students might first consider Trinidad's ...

How to find the knowns and unknowns in any research

13 hours ago

Have you ever felt overloaded by information? Ever wondered how to make sense of claims and counter-claims about a topic? With so much information out there on many different issues, how is a person new to ...

Minorities energize US consumer market, according to report

13 hours ago

The buying power of minority groups in the U.S. has reached new heights and continues to outpace cumulative inflation, according to the latest Multicultural Economy Report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the ...

User comments : 0