Tag Archives: Prions
Tim was staring astonished to Josefina the cow who, with her eyes wide open, was running away, scared, towards the barn, because she had seen a little mouse crossing the yard. On her way, poor thing, she stumbled and fell. With difficulty she got up again to enter her hiding place. Joseph, the farmer, had also seen the scene and sad, It had been seven years milking her every morning, decided that the time had come for Josefina.
Time to talk about prions again, these enigmatic infectious agents that cause, among others, the mad cow disease.
Prions, the agents that cause diseases such as Creutzfeltd Jakob disease in people or mad cow disease, are unconventional infectious agents. The main reason for this peculiarity is that, according to the most accepted theory nowadays, prions have no genetic material!
Last week the discovery of a case of Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a Raindeer (or Caribou, Rangifer tarandus) was published on the website of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute. The news is interesting for two reasons: it is the first time this disease has been described in Europe and it is also the first time that a field case has been described in this species.
The third Iberian Congress of prions was held in Zaragoza the past 2nd and 3rd of November . This meeting brings together scientists studying prion diseases both in the area of human and veterinary medicine as well as groups working on solving the mysterious structure of prions.
In CReSA , among other diseases, we study the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, a group of diseases that drill holes in the brain!
When the “mad cow” crisis started the researchers studying these diseases found that prions, the agents which caused it, could affect not only cows but also people. Field cases were discovered of cats and goats infected with “mad cow” disease. In addition, experiments were conducted that showed that species such as sheep or laboratory animals such as mice, could also be infected.
The World Brain Awareness Week will take place from 11th to 15th of March 2013. The objective of the activities planned during this week is to raise society’s awareness on how the brain works and how researchers are developing a better understanding in this field.