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.
Would you like your McBSE with fries?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.LINK