- Hello, Jeff - There were 18 animals on the farm. Eight
had been exposed to the risk of mad cow and were culled. Hmm...What about
the other 10? They remain on the farm? The other articles below will also
provoke some anger and amazement.
- New Case Of Mad Cow Disease In Poland
- WARSAW (AFX) - A new case
of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, has been
detected in Poland, the country's veterinary service said.
- The head of the national veterinary service, Krzysztof
Jazdzewski, said that the infected animal was found on a farm in the northwest
of the country and had been put down.
- 'The disease was detected on a farm with a total of 18
animals. Eight of them have been identified as exposed to risk (of contamination)
and have been killed,' he said.
- There have been more than 22 cases of mad cow disease
in Poland since it began testing for BSE in 2001.
- firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.forbes.com/work/feeds/afx/2005/12/28/afx2416658.html
- Japan Lab May Have Succeeded In Inducing Mad
Cow Infection l
- Japanese scientists believe they may have successfully
infected cattle with mad cow disease as part of an experiment aimed at
an early detection for the fatal bovine illness, a laboratory official
- The Hokkaido Animal Research Center in northern Japan
injected prions from infected cows into the brains of 14 Holstein calves
in 2004 -- six in February, three in July and five in September -- and
some in the first group have developed what seems to be early symptoms
of the mad cow disease, said Tsutomu Ogi, director of the institute's livestock
engineering section. Prions are proteins thought to cause the disease.
- Several of the calves became groggy when walking -- changes
considered typical early symptoms of bovine spongeform encephalopathy,
or BSE, Ogi said.
- "They've become jerky when they walk and we noticed
the change since last month," he said. "But we're not absolutely
certain yet and we want to make sure before making a conclusion."
- Ogi said the six Holsteins, all still alive, have been
sent to the National Institute of Animal Health near Tokyo, where they
will be dissected and analyzed in detailed tests later this month to confirm
- If confirmed, they will be the first successful cases
of artificially induced mad cow disease in Japan, Ogi said. British scientists
have succeeded in similar experiments.
- Researchers hope the findings will eventually lead to
developing a method of early detection while the animal is alive and further
study of how the affected prions spread inside the animal. All 21 past
cases of mad cow in Japan were detected only after the cattle were killed
for blanket testing before shipment for sale.
- Ogi said regular sampling of urine and blood of the controlled
cows could also show how prions spread in an infected cow before they develop
a full-blown case and help scientists to find a possible marker to detect
early signs of infection.
- Injecting mashed-up brain parts taken from sickened cows
is the fastest way to induce BSE in a healthy cow and is believed to take
about two years, he said.
- Eating beef from cattle infected with mad cow disease
can cause the fatal brain disorder Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.
- Japan has reported 21 cases of mad cow disease since
2001, and one human victim who died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in December
- US Safeguards Against Mad Cow Disease Said
Strict Regulations On Cattle Feed Are Needed, Critics Say
- By Libby Quaid
- WASHINGTON -- Researchers
and the nation's number one burger seller say the government is not fully
protecting animals or people from mad cow disease.
- Stronger steps are needed to keep infection from entering
the food chain for cattle, the critics wrote in comments to the Food and
- The group includes McDonald's Corp., seven scientists
and specialists, and a pharmaceutical supplier, Serologicals Corp.
- The government proposed new safeguards two months ago,
but researchers said that effort ''falls woefully short" and could
fail to keep cattle from eating infected feed, the primary way mad cow
disease is spread.
- ''We do not feel that we can overstate the dangers .
. . from these diseases and the need to control and arrest them to prevent
any possibility of spread," the researchers wrote.
- McDonald's said the risk of exposure to the disease should
be reduced to zero, or as close as possible. ''It is our opinion that the
government can take further action to reduce this risk," wrote Dick
Crawford, company vice president.
- In people, eating meat or cattle products contaminated
with mad cow disease is linked to a rare but fatal nerve disorder, variant
- No one is known to have contracted the disease in the
United States. The disease has turned up in two people who lived in the
United States, but it's believed that they were infected in the United
Kingdom during an outbreak there in the 1980s and 1990s.
- The United States has found two cases of mad cow disease
in cows. Since the first case, confirmed in December 2003 in a Canadian-born
cow in Washington state, the government has tested more than half a million
of the nation's 95 million cows. The second case was confirmed in June
in a Texas-born cow.
- ''While this surveillance has not uncovered an epidemic,
it does not clear the US cattle herd from infection," the researchers
- The primary firewall against mad cow disease is a ban
on using cattle remains in cattle feed, which the United States put in
place in 1997. The feed ban, however, has loopholes that create potential
pathways for mad cow disease. For example, restaurant plate waste is allowed
in cattle feed.
- The Food and Drug Administration proposed in October
to tighten the rules, but critics said glaring loopholes would remain.
- The FDA, which regulates animal feed, accepted public
comments on the proposal through last month. An agency spokeswoman said
yesterday that it would be inappropriate to respond to those comments.
- The critics said their biggest concern is that tissue
from dead animals would be allowed in the feed chain if brains and spinal
cords have been removed. Brains and spinal cords are tissues that can carry
mad cow disease, but in dead cattle that had the disease, the infection
had spread beyond the brains and spinal cords.
- Leaving tissue from dead cattle in the feed chain would
negate the FDA's attempt to strengthen its safeguards, the critics said.
- © Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/01/05/us_safeg
- History Of Human Cannibalism Eats Away At
- New Study Challenges Previous Reports Of Cannibalism
As A Worldwide Selective Force
- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
- New study challenges previous reports of cannibalism
as a worldwide selective force
- In a new study published by the journal Genome Research,
a team of scientists reports that 'mad cow'-like diseases have not been
a major force in human history, nor have been cannibalistic rituals that
are known to be associated with disease transmission. Prof. Jaume Bertranpetit,
a scientist at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and his colleagues used a
fresh set of genetic data to show that balancing selection associated with
cannibalism has not been a major selective driving force on the prion protein
gene, as has recently been proposed. Their work also has important scientific
implications for researchers using a specific class of DNA markers called
SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) to examine genetic associations
with diseases or to evaluate historical patterns of human migration.
- The prion protein gene (PRNP) encodes a protein that
can abnormally fold and amass in brain tissues to cause fatal neurodegenerative
diseases such as mad cow disease. These diseases are cumulatively known
as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and in humans, include
CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) and kuru. Kuru is confined to a human population
in Papua-New Guinea and is transmitted by cannibalism at ritualistic mortuary
- A high-profile study published nearly three years ago
suggested that individuals who were heterozygous for a common polymorphism
in the PRNP gene were relatively resistant to the disease. Over time, homozygotes
who participated in the cannibalistic rituals purportedly diminished in
numbers due to their increased susceptibility to kuru. This indicated that
cannibalism conferred an effect of balancing selection on the PRNP gene
throughout human history.
- Bertranpetit and his colleagues sequenced 2,378 base
pairs of the PRNP gene in 174 individuals; in addition, they genotyped
two SNPs (or single nucleotide polymorphisms) from the PRNP gene in 1000
individuals from populations worldwide. They identified 28 different haplotypes
or combinations of DNA variants in the PRNP gene and used this data to
assess the ages of the mutations, to identify geographic patterns of variation,
and to evaluate selective forces that have potentially influenced these
- "In contrast to the previous study, which concluded
that variation in the PRNP gene was strongly skewed toward intermediate
frequency variants, our results showed that there was, in fact, a deficit
of intermediate frequency variants," says Bertranpetit. "Our
results are consistent with a complex history of episodic or fluctuating
selection, including positive selection, purifying selection, and possibly
even short periods of balancing selection."
- On a more technical note, the study cautions researchers
involved in SNP-based population genetics studies. The work is one of the
first to empirically demonstrate how SNP ascertainment can introduce a
strong bias in population genetics studies and severely affect the conclusions.
Bertranpetit and his colleagues point out that at a time when a flood of
ascertained SNP data is being generated, it is essential that SNP ascertainment
be taken into consideration in data analyses.
- The first author on the study is Dr. Marta Soldevila,
who completed her Ph.D. at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and performed a
substantial part of the sequencing work at DeCODE Genetics (Reykjavik,
- Patricia A. Doyle, DVM, PhD- Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural
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