My photo
Corvallis, OR, United States
My personal obsession with prion diseases with smidges of music I like and rescue dog advocacy from a disabled Oregonian.


Song in my head: St. John of the Cross did his best stuff....imprisoned in a box.....and JohnnyThunders was half alive..when he wrote Chinese Rocks .....Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds


A possible new case of mad cow disease has been reported from FSNet listserv, subscription required. Rumors say the cow is from Oklahoma.........

Oklahoma Mad Cow Rumors Are Just That, Ag Spokesman Says

The state wants to set the record straight about Mad Cow Disease rumors. The concern started with reports that an Oklahoma cow had been tested for Mad Cow Disease. NewsChannel 8's Diane Harrigan got to the bottom of the speculation. First, the Associated Press tried to rule Oklahoma in or out by calling all fifty states. Then, a Wichita Falls, Texas television station seemed to jump the gun and reported the cow did come from Oklahoma. But, we have called dozens of sources across the country today and every one told us they do not know which state this cow came from. LINK

CNN reports......

A final test is likely to confirm a second U.S. case of mad cow disease, experts said on Thursday, though they see a small possibility the animal, which tested "inconclusive" in two preliminary tests, could be given a clean bill of health. LINK

The animal did not enter the food chain despite two inconclusive test results. Someone was on their toes, good job. If your food does become infected with the disease, cooking will not destroy it....from the NYT.......

Q. Does cooking make harmless the abnormal protein in beef that causes the human form of mad cow disease called new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? If not, why not?

A. Dr. Pierluigi Gambetti, director of the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center at Case Western Reserve University, was cited as saying that very high temperatures can make the abnormal protein harmless, unfolding or denaturing it, but then the meat is inedible. First, it is insoluble and resistant to digestion with enzymes, and second, it forms large aggregates that are hard to destroy.Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were cited as describing the extreme measures needed to purify surgical instruments exposed to the nervous system tissue of a patient of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob or related diseases.The centers' guidelines say the instruments should be immersed in bleach or lye for half an hour to an hour and boiled at 121 degrees Centigrade (250 Fahrenheit) or more before routine sterilization. The abnormal prions are also resistant to purification by ultraviolet light or microwave radiation. LINK

In other mad cow related news.....

A report in The Times of London says that bovine spongiform encephalopathy has jumped species for the first time, with a goat in France testing positive for the disease. It is believed that the goat was fed bovine bone meal and other byproducts, a practice that was discontinued in 2001. (Via FSnet listserv, by sub)

Animal proteins are banned from cattle feed, but inspectors still need to monitor compliance......

Scientists in FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine have evaluated two commercial test kits that are designed to detect animal proteins in animal feed. A January 26, 2004, HHS Press Release entitled “Expanded "Mad Cow" Safeguards Announced to Strengthen Existing Firewalls Against BSE Transmission”, announced that FDA would continue to support the development and evaluation of feed tests for detection of materials prohibited for use in ruminant feeds. LINK

A Dublin hospital spokesman was cited as saying on Wednesday that medical tests on a young Irishman have confirmed that he is suffering from variant CJD, the human form of mad cow disease, in what is believed to be the first case of the fatal brain disease to originate within Ireland as a result of eating beef infected with BSE. (Via FsNet listserv, by sub)

Researchers from London's Medical Research Council's Prion Unit warn that heretofore undiscovered variations of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), the human form of BSE, may threaten people who were thought to be genetically resistant to the disease, according to a report in the journal Science. The researchers, noting that all 147 deaths from vCJD in the United Kingdom occurred in people with a VV genetic makeup, said that tests on mice indicate that people with MM and VM genetic makeup could be at risk for a similar disease with a far longer incubation period. The group said that the studies of mice indicate there might be three patterns of the disease, including classic CJD, vCJD and an as yet unidentified variant. They warned that the industry should develop more sophisticated categorizing of prion-related diseases to avoid mistaking BSE-related infections for more common sporadic CJD.(Via FSNet)

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services this morning reported that a tissue sample returned two inconclusive test results for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and that the sample is being forwarded to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for definitive testing. Final results will be announced in four to seven days.After a cluster of initial reports of inconclusive test results last summer resulted in market disruption, USDA adopted a policy that only samples that returned presumptive positive results twice would be announced. According to Andrea Morgan, associate deputy administrator, APHIS, this is only the third sample to return an inconclusive result. Compared to the earlier inconclusives, however, this test was more rigorous. In the two other reported cases, both of which ultimately turned out to be negative, only one "well" in the test plate returned a positive reading. Under new guidelines, not only is the test re-run to screen out a false positive, but two of the three wells must return a presumptive positive before USDA alerts the public. In other words, while this remains an inconclusive result until full testing can be completed, it is a presumptive positive of a higher order than its predecessors.USDA is withholding all details about the suspect animal, including whether it was tested at random in the agency's accelerated testing regime, which has screened 113,000 head of cattle since June 1, or whether it exhibited symptoms of BSE infection.American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle also emphasized that the test is so far inconclusive, and that even if it turns out to be a second case of BSE, it was caught and contained before the animal entered the food supply.(Link via FSNet listserv, by sub)

Want your McBSE with fries??.........