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There have been recurring cases of mad-cow disease in the United Kingdom since the mid-1990s. Mad-cow disease is caused by a prion, an infectious particle that consists only of protein. In 1986, the media began reporting that cows all over England were dying from a mysterious disease. Initially, there was little interest in determining whether humans could be affected. For 10 years, the British government maintained that this unusual disease could not be transmitted to humans. However, in March 1996, the government did an about-face and announced that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad-cow disease, can be transmitted to humans, where it is known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). As in cows, this disease eats away at the nervous system, destroying the brain and essentially turning it into a spongelike structure filled with holes. Victims experience dementia; confusion; loss of speech, sight, and hearing; convulsions; coma; and finally death. Prion diseases are always fatal, and there is no treatment. Precautionary measures taken in Britain to prevent this disease in humans may have begun too late. Many of the victims contracted it over a decade earlier, when the BSE epidemic began, and the incubation period is long (vCJD has an incubation period of 10 to 40 years). A recent study concluded that 1 in 2,000 people in Great Britain carry the abnormally folded protein that causes vCJD. In spite of these numbers, the death rate from vCJD remains low. It is not clear whether this means that the incubation period for the disease is much longer than previously thought, or whether they may never develop the disease. What measures have been taken to stop BSE?

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Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052

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Section
BuyFindarrow_forward

Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052
Chapter 9, Problem 2CS
Textbook Problem
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There have been recurring cases of mad-cow disease in the United Kingdom since the mid-1990s. Mad-cow disease is caused by a prion, an infectious particle that consists only of protein. In 1986, the media began reporting that cows all over England were dying from a mysterious disease. Initially, there was little interest in determining whether humans could be affected. For 10 years, the British government maintained that this unusual disease could not be transmitted to humans. However, in March 1996, the government did an about-face and announced that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad-cow disease, can be transmitted to humans, where it is known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). As in cows, this disease eats away at the nervous system, destroying the brain and essentially turning it into a spongelike structure filled with holes. Victims experience dementia; confusion; loss of speech, sight, and hearing; convulsions; coma; and finally death. Prion diseases are always fatal, and there is no treatment. Precautionary measures taken in Britain to prevent this disease in humans may have begun too late. Many of the victims contracted it over a decade earlier, when the BSE epidemic began, and the incubation period is long (vCJD has an incubation period of 10 to 40 years).

A recent study concluded that 1 in 2,000 people in Great Britain carry the abnormally folded protein that causes vCJD. In spite of these numbers, the death rate from vCJD remains low. It is not clear whether this means that the incubation period for the disease is much longer than previously thought, or whether they may never develop the disease.

What measures have been taken to stop BSE?

Summary Introduction

To explain: The measures that have been taken to stop BSE.

Introduction: Prion causes the mad cow disease that is also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). After research, British government declared that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) disease can be transmitted from cow to human. The recent study suggests that in Great Britain, 1 out of 2,000 people carry misfolded protein that causes BSE.

Explanation of Solution

The various measures that have been taken to stop bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) are as follows:

  • • The public health control has restricted the culling of sick animals, to prevent BSE-infected tissue (meat) from entering the human food...

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