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Mad cow disease research breakthrough: scientists recreate prions in the lab

Tuesday, August 03, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: prions, mad cow disease, public health

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Scientists in California have created the first synthetic version of prions. These are the so-called "rogue proteins" that are responsible for mad cow disease. To understand the significance of this research, it helps to fully understand what prions are in the first place and how they cause mad cow disease. Prions are abnormally folded proteins, that is, they have been physically folded into an unnatural shape that is alien to the bodies of both humans and animals. Unfortunately, they cause a domino effect, so that one prion will cause the proteins nearby to also fold in a similar shape, and it begins to cascade throughout the nervous system tissue of the host. In time, it causes the brain of a cow or a human being to turn into a large mass of folded proteins, sometimes called mad cow mush. And this is, of course, what has killed the people who have died from mad cow disease so far.

Now, the really strange thing about prions is that they are contagious. If a human being eats a piece of beef that is contaminated with spinal cord tissue or brain tissue from a cow suffering from mad cow disease, those consumed prions can begin to cause a cascading collapse of their brain tissue. This is a cross-species problem that is highly infectious, and it is resistant to the traditional efforts used to defend against infectious diseases. For example, you might think that cooking a piece of beef contaminated with mad cow disease would destroy the prions, but in fact, since prions are not living microorganisms or viruses, cooking does absolutely nothing to destroy them. You can cook a prion all you want, but it's still a folded protein, and when you eat it, you may still get mad cow disease. So cooking isn't the answer to stopping the spread of this disease.

Prions have baffled researchers for years, and there is new evidence that prions can also be spread through blood transfusions. What scientists don't understand is how prions can be so contagious when there's nothing living in there. How can they survive cooking and radiation and all these other treatments that would normally destroy infectious agents, and yet still manage to infect hosts regardless of their species? It's a baffling issue. Now, with the researchers in California who have created artificial prions, we have the first potential for new research on prions that can be conducted in a laboratory. Scientists can look at these prions in a sterile environment and determine more accurately how they operate and how they cause such a rapid cascading effect in the nervous system of biological hosts.

This research, of course, could shed new light on strategies for preventing the spread of prions and also for detecting prions, especially in cattle and other animals used for food. The bottom line on this research is that it probably makes the beef industry quite nervous to have anybody actually taking a closer look at prions in the first place. The USDA has attempted to quiet any discussion of prions and pretend that there are no prions in U.S. cattle whatsoever. The U.S. beef supply is perfectly free of mad cow disease, according to the USDA, and yet, people familiar with the industry are saying that mad cow disease is rampant in U.S. herds and that there are prions in beef products on the grocery store shelves right now.

Hopefully with this new independent research on prions, we can get closer to the truth on this subject and help protect the public from the risk of mad cow disease.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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