Saturday, September 06, 2008

This Sucks....,

Infectious, test tube-produced prions can jump the 'species barrier' - Researchers have shown that they can create entirely new strains of infectious proteins known as prions in the laboratory by simply mixing infectious prions from one species with the normal prion proteins of another species. The findings are reported in the September 5th issue of the journal Cell.

This new insight has profound implications for public health, according to the researchers.

"One of the scariest medical problems of the last decades has been the emergence of a new and fatal human prion disease--variant CJD--originated by cross-species transmission of BSE from cattle," the researchers said. BSE has also spread to other animals, including exotic cats, other primates and domestic cats, after they ate feed derived from diseased cows.