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Latest prions Stories

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2009-06-27 11:15:00

Scientists have raised concern over the potential for people to contract Creutzfeldt Jakob disease "” the human form of "mad cow disease" "” from eating farmed-raised fish that are fed byproducts rendered from cows, Reuters reported. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which is commonly referred to as Mad cow disease, is a fatal brain disease in cattle that may cause Creutzfeldt Jakob disease in humans who eat infected cow parts, scientists said. Neurologist Dr. Robert P. Friedland...

2009-06-11 11:00:00

U.S. medical scientists say they have determined how prion proteins responsible for mad cow disease and related illnesses destroy healthy brain tissue. The National Institutes of Health researchers said their findings will help in developing potential treatments for prion diseases or, perhaps, ways to prevent them. The research, conducted at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, determined the proteins responsible for the disorders, known as...

2009-05-29 08:15:00

Development may help shed light on disease in animals and protect human populationsCurrent tests to identify specific strains of infectious prions, which cause a range of transmissible diseases (such as mad cow) in animals and humans, can take anywhere from six months to a year to yield results "“ a time-lag that may put human populations at risk.Now, a group of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute's Florida campus have developed a new method that cuts this critical time lag...

2009-04-17 09:11:28

An investigation of a rare, inherited form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease suggests that disrupted regulation of copper ions in the brain may be a key factor in this and other prion diseases. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, discovered a striking relationship between changes in the copper-binding properties of abnormal prion proteins and the clinical features of prion disease in patients with certain rare, genetic mutations. They described their findings in a paper...

2009-04-03 08:02:07

Whitehead Institute researchers have quintupled the number of identifiable prion proteins in yeast and have further clarified the role prions play in the inheritance of both beneficial and detrimental traits."The big debate in the field is are the prions functional "“ are they evolved to be prions, or are they always a disease, as in "mad cow'" disease in mammals," says Randal Halfmann, a graduate student in Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist's lab, and co-author of the paper featured in...

2009-04-02 13:48:16

Special proteins known as prions, which are perhaps best known as the agents of mad cow and other neurodegenerative diseases, can also serve as an important source of beneficial variation in nature, confirms a new study in the April 3rd issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication. After an extensive search through the genome of yeast for proteins with prion-like character, the researchers found two dozen prion-forming proteins, most of which had never been seen before."We had...

2009-03-17 09:14:15

A U.S. study suggests an imbalance of iron homeostasis is a common feature of prion disease-affected human, mouse and hamster brains. Dr. Neena Singh and colleagues at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Creighton University said their findings provide insight into the mechanism of neurotoxicity in prion disorders and might lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies. Unlike other neurodegenerative conditions, prion disorders are sporadic, inherited and...

2009-03-14 09:38:34

The discovery in common brewer's yeast of a new, infectious, misfolded protein -- or prion -- by University of Illinois at Chicago molecular biologists raises new questions about the roles played by these curious molecules, often associated with degenerative brain diseases like "mad cow" and its human counterpart, Creutzfeldt-Jakob.Susan Liebman, distinguished university professor of biological sciences, and postdoctoral research associate Basant Patel propagated the new prion from a normal...

2009-03-13 13:03:31

Imbalance of iron homeostasis is a common feature of prion disease-affected human, mouse, and hamster brains, according to a new study by Dr. Neena Singh and colleagues at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, alongside collaborators from Creighton University. These findings, published March 13 in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens, provide new insight into the mechanism of neurotoxicity in prion disorders, and novel avenues for the development of therapeutic...

2009-03-05 22:00:34

An Italian researcher said she's figured out how the human mad cow disease travels from the stomach to the brain. Chiara Zurzolo, a biology professor at Naples University, said the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease prion uses the body's immune system to travel to the brain. The prion then starts killing brain neurons, which leads to dementia, ANSA reported Thursday. ''The infection passes to the brain along 'bridges' or 'motorway lanes' that are technically called nanotubes,'' she told the journal...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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