Join 3,439 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Filter Filter
December 24, 2006 12:54 PM   Subscribe

The end of mad cow disease? Scientists announce a filter that can remove the prions that cause vCJD - blocking the spread of the disease, at least via blood transfusions.
posted by Artw (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The prions (of vCJD) are thought to be transmitted by consuming the nervous tissue of cows... although there is no definite proof of this association as yet.

To err is human, to forgive bovine.
posted by hal9k at 1:12 PM on December 24, 2006


That is terrific news, I'm hoping it holds. CJ disease is a terrible, terrible thing.
posted by toma at 1:17 PM on December 24, 2006


Good news indeed, not only for prion diseases, but as a potential treatment approach for other diseases involving malformed proteins. Here's hoping this filter becomes commercial for treating all the blood supply.
posted by paulsc at 1:28 PM on December 24, 2006


In the end, are we not *all* mad? -- Gary Larsen

Good news, indeed. Now we can feed the cows more cows again.
posted by spitbull at 1:37 PM on December 24, 2006


I always felt sorry for the cow that the UK news broadcasts usually showed, slipping down a ramp covered with shit. Just looked like an accident to me.

Still, I'm helluva glad I stopped eating meat in the 1980s.
posted by imperium at 2:09 PM on December 24, 2006


Now we can feed the cows more cows again.

Only if we grind them down into liquid slurry and pass them through the filter first. Actually that doesn't sound that implausible for modern agricultural practice.
posted by Artw at 2:15 PM on December 24, 2006


This is good news.

Recently my girlfriend Dana and I went to dine at Missoula Montana's finest eating establishment, the Oxford. The Oxford's greatest delicacy has always been brains and eggs. Sadly, I was not able to fulfill my gustatory wishes, as they had been unable to obtain the requisite brains for some time now.

It's sad to see sublime traditions pass...
posted by Tube at 2:51 PM on December 24, 2006


Why are cows still fed other cows? And how often is mad cow acquired through blood transfusions? Wouldn't it be simpler simply to test the blood for Mad Cow before transfusion?
posted by delmoi at 3:30 PM on December 24, 2006


Wouldn't it be simpler simply to test the blood for Mad Cow before transfusion?

I read 'Mad Cow' as 'McDonald's' for some reason the first time I parsed that sentence.
posted by greatgefilte at 4:05 PM on December 24, 2006


Why are cows still fed other cows? And how often is mad cow acquired through blood transfusions? Wouldn't it be simpler simply to test the blood for Mad Cow before transfusion?


Cows are no longer fed cows, this for blood from people who may have eaten mad cows some time ago in britain (or who may have the sporadic form, about 6 in a million I think or the familial form)
The second paragraph states that there is no test for blood (concentration is too low). I doubt you would get many blood donors if you required the same test for as for suspect cows (removing the brain).
As a prion researcher, I'm interested in this compound "L13" that binds so specifically to PrP. It would make purification of recombinant prion protein (we have E.coli that produce the protein for us) much easier.
posted by 445supermag at 4:07 PM on December 24, 2006


great news!
posted by brandz at 6:58 PM on December 24, 2006


Good news, indeed. Now we can feed the cows more cows again.

That's just offal!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:11 PM on December 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


445supermag, the full journal article is available on The Lancet. (Functional BugMeNot reg is 'blackcabbage' for user & pass.) The footnotes (specifically #16) appear link to further detail on the resin(s) chosen to bind to PrP, those links should also be accessible with the BugMeNot reg. Hope that's helpful, or at least provides some added info.
posted by sysinfo at 9:08 PM on December 24, 2006


If this works, let's hope Prions are the real cause of this disease!!
posted by zouhair at 11:49 PM on December 24, 2006


Without speaking about the UK, at least in the US, cows aren't fed other cows. If I recall correctly....

Chickens are fed cows, and the cows are fed the chicken shit, which in a lot of cases, contains ground up cows.

Essentially, the methods the US uses to raise cows is just world class jackassery, and they should all take a step back and ask themselves -

"If I do this to the animals, will people think I'm an asshole?"

I think that would save us a lot of grief with the fucked up farming methods used in the states.
posted by Lord_Pall at 5:25 AM on December 25, 2006


"If I do this to the animals, will people think I'm an asshole?"

Actually, they will think you are a hotdog.
posted by srboisvert at 6:29 AM on December 25, 2006


« Older La Jetée....  |  Wikiasari search engine.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments