Mad Cow in California

A variant of the prion disease that causes bovine spongiform encephalopathy was found in the United States.

By | April 30, 2012

Meneer Zjeroen" > Flickr, Meneer Zjeroen

FLICKR, MENEER ZJEROEN

Last week, as reports of the first case of US mad cow disease in 6 years circulated, researchers discovered that the prion responsible was a rare L-type version, also called an atypical variant, rather than the more common C-type, associated with human transmission of the disease in the United Kingdom. Although there is evidence in primates and mouse models that the L-type is more contagious, it’s not clear whether the same would be true in humans, reported Nature.

Researchers are also looking into how the cow came down with the disease in the first place.  “Long term studies are beginning to look at whether or not it’s capable of transmission orally through feed, but we don’t have the data yet,” Linda Detwiler at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine told Nature.  If it is transmissible through feed, like the C-type, , other cows could be infected.  Alternately, the disease could have started from a gene mutation in the affected cow. But, said Detwiler, “no one knows the origin at this point.”

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Thousands of Mutations Accumulate in the Human Brain Over a Lifetime
  2. Two Dozen House Republicans Do an About-Face on Tuition Tax
  3. Putative Gay Genes Identified, Questioned
    The Nutshell Putative Gay Genes Identified, Questioned

    A genomic interrogation of homosexuality turns up speculative links between genetic elements and sexual orientation, but researchers say the study is too small to be significant. 

  4. Can Young Stem Cells Make Older People Stronger?
FreeShip