Because Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is so rare, any assay for the disease
must have near-perfect specificity. A problem with both cycling assays
is that PrPC converts into oligomers and fibrils in the absence of PrPSc.
Additional work is needed to address this problem. Nevertheless it is
possible that these assays could one day lead to earlier diagnosis and
treatments, if the latter become available. LINK
The Pennsylvania Game Commission
confiscated deer brains and other deer parts from a Lititz restaurant
earlier this month, according to state inspectors.
brains, heads, muscle meat and other parts were taken after New China
House's operator couldn't provide documentation the meat was from an
approved source, according to the Pennsylvania Department of
Agriculture. While farm-raised venison may be sold legally, it’s illegal to sell game animals killed by hunters, according to officials.
The deer parts were thrown out, Logan
Hall, a department spokesman, said Thursday. Inspectors returned for
follow-up inspection the next day and found 14 more deficiencies. They
included an unidentifiable pig organ on premise, which the operator's
wife said was her lunch, according to the inspection report. It was
Surprise: Grass Can Uptake And Bind With Chronic Wasting Disease Prions
According to researchers at The University of Texas
Health Science Center at Houston grass plants can bind,
uptake and transport infectious prions. Why this is so important takes
some understanding of what prions are.
Much smaller than bacteria, prions are single proteins
that cannot be destroyed by typical “kill strategies” such as extreme
heat or ultraviolet light.
“With prions, nothing like that works,” said Claudio
Soto, Ph.D., a UTHealth researcher and lead author of an article about
the topic published May 26, 2015, in Cell Reports.
These protein-based infectious agents cause the characteristic spongy degeneration of the brain, leading to emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions, and death. As
such, they are responsible for a group of fatal diseases referred to as
transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The group includes
so-called “mad cow disease” (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE)
in cattle, scrapie in sheep, and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in
humans, which, according to
the World Health Organization, has been “strongly linked” to eating
beef products contaminated with central nervous system tissue, such as
spinal cord and brain, from cows infected with mad cow disease.
Chronic Wasting Disease in Texas Deer Could Potentially Harm Hunting Industry
State officials moved quickly. The Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department, working with the Texas Animal Health Commission, set up new
rules limiting when and how breeders could move deer, and began
requiring more testing, which requires killing the deer to obtain brain
tissue samples. “They want you to kill the herd and test them for just in case,” said
deer breeder Mike Wood. “That makes no sense…. I said I’m just not
going to do it.”
But as the late fall openings of white-tailed deer seasons approach,
many in the industry are chafing under the new rules, claiming the state
has overreacted and might do more harm to their livelihoods than the
disease itself. LINK
A Disease Similar to Mad Cow Disease, CJD, Was Found In A Captive Texas Deer in the Summer of 2015.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the
white-tailed deer came from a facility in Medina County south of San
Antonio. It died early last month, and tested positive for the disease
This is the first case of chronic wasting disease detected in a captive white-tailed deer in Texas, according to the department.
Chronic wasting disease is similar to mad cow disease, which eats away at the brain. LINK
"4,000 pounds of rib-eyes, other beef recalled; mad cow disease a concern." LINK
Six members of Congress are urging federal agricultural officials to ban
the interstate movement of captive deer, saying a national industry
that breeds bucks to be shot as trophies in "canned" hunts isn't worth
the disease risks. [for chronic wasting disease] LINK
Confirmed variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) case in Texas LINK
For anyone getting a public administration degree, a serious outbreak of foodborne illness
is somewhat of a worst nightmare. The panic, the uncertainty, and the
heartache will be coupled with the demand for answers, which officials
may not have, and the need for an action plan.
The recent Escherichia coli outbreak linked to raw milk from a Portland-area farm has affected a confirmed five children, and has sickened four more, Oregon health
authorities report. The Oregon Public Health Division,
a government agency, was first alerted to a potential E. coli outbreak
April 13, when three children presented with E. coli-like symptoms at
area hospitals. The outbreak was traced to raw milk distributed from
Foundation Farm in Wilsonville. Authorities have ordered the destruction
of all milk remaining on that farm, and have begun testing in barns and
on nearby land for evidence of contamination. Anyone who has purchased
the milk is advised to dispose of it immediately. For now, the outbreak seems limited to milk sold byFoundation Farm.
The farm owns four dairy cows, and sells milk to local residents
through a limited “herd share” program. As such, the potential
contamination base is relatively small. “Milk from Foundation Farm and raw cow’s milk in general is not allowed to be
sold in retail stores in Oregon,” Christine Stone, a spokeswoman for
the Oregon Health Authority, said in anApril 13 press release. “The dairy only distributed to 48 households that were part of a herd‐share,
in which people contract to take ownership of a portion of a herd or
individual animals.” The families are spread across Clackamas,
Washington, and Multnomah counties. The Health Authority has made initial contact with each one, both to check
up on health and to give information about identifying the signs and
symptoms of an E. coli infection. As of April 17, the tally of confirmed
infections rests at 5, all under 15 years of age. Three are currently
hospitalized for acute kidney failure. Four more children and one adult
who drank the Foundation Farm milk have severe gastrointestinal issues,
though initial E. coli tests have come back negative. Health Authority officials are hard at work uncovering the precise source of the infection. According to theOregonian, all remaining milk has been confiscated, and officials have already collected a range of “environmental samples” from the dairy and
surrounding 17-acre farm. “Those samples are now being tested for
harmful bacteria by a lab outside Seattle that specializes in foodborne
outbreaks,” the Oregonian said. Raw milk from other sources is not currently under scrutiny, and continues
to be distributed by separate farms in the area. Oregon’s Health
Authority nevertheless warns that drinking raw, unpasteurized milk
presents an unusually high risk of E. coli, no matter how clean or safe a
dairy is. “Raw milk can carry harmful bacteria that can make you very sick or kill
you,” Katrina Hedberg, an epidemiologist with the Oregon Public Health
Division,told Portland’s KTVZ news. “Raw milk is not any healthier than pasteurized milk and can carry illness-causing bacteria.” The raw milk E. coli outbreak comes just as the Oregon Agriculture
Department launches a food safety training and education course designed
specifically to educate on and limit E. coli contamination at small
farms. A fatal strain of E. coli on strawberries sold throughout Oregon
in the summer of 2011 caused significant heartache for farmers and
consumers alike. The training and education course, which is offered in
partnership with the state’s various berry commissions, runs April 17 to
May 2 in various Oregon towns.
The state of Oregon has done an impressive job in urban planning and creating an efficient public transportation system. The cities of Portland and Corvallis are both shining examples of what public funds can do to create bike lanes to promote not only alternative modes of transportation but also health and wellness. As environmental and health concerns related to transportation continue to mount, cities like these will be important case studies in master's degree programs and other contexts of studying urban planning.
Portland consistently ranks in the top five best cities for public transportation in the country. Portland’s public transportation system is called TriMet and includes bus service, light rail service, the WES commuter rail, and the Portland streetcar. The TriMet system not only serves the city proper, but also the suburbs Hillsboro, Beaverton, and Gresham.
One of the best features of the Portland public transportation system is the downtown Free Rail Zone, which includes Pioneer Square, Union Station, and the Rose Quarter. In this central area of the city all light rail and streetcars are free every day of the year.
Portland also ranks at or near the top of most lists of bike-friendly American cities. Many public and private agencies provide free bike maps of the hundreds of miles of bike and walking paths in the greater Portland area. One of the most widely used agencies is the Portland Bureau of Transportation, which provides an extensive amount of information on their website.
Although the city of Corvallis is much smaller than Portland, it also prides itself for great public transportation. It's also known as one of the best cities in the nation for bike access, possibly even better than Portland.
Much of the Corvallis Transit System's ridership is comprised of students attending Oregon State University, located in downtown Corvallis. With a student population of about 20,000, it's comparable to the University of Oregon in Eugene. OSU depends upon the city to provide efficient service to its students as well as the rest of the community.
Oregon doesn't collect a state sales tax, which makes the reality of having one of the best options for alternative transportation in the country even more impressive. Because of the many efficient public transportation systems and efficient bike networks throughout the state, Oregon will no doubt continue to be an exemplar of public transit infrastructure and alternative transportation as we enter an age when personal cars will be more and more untenable.