Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School researchers working to prevent mad cow disease

29.07.2002


Prion Research Center to open this week



Scientists around the world are striving to learn as much as possible about the phenomenon that causes mad cow disease so that they will be prepared if and when an epidemic breaks out, according to Dr. Albert Taraboulos of the Institute of Microbiology of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. He explained that the exact incubation period of the disease is unknown and so scientists are working hard to ensure that they are not caught unprepared.

Dr. Taraboulos and his research team are trying to develop drugs that can prevent people from contracting the disease and drugs that can cure those who have contracted it. They also are trying to determine how prions, the molecular agent that causes mad cow disease (or BSE), propagate.


The outbreak of mad cow disease in Europe, and the finding that this fatal neurodegeneration has transmitted to humans, have signaled the appearance of a worldwide health threat and have brought prions to the forefront of public attention. BSE is just one of many prion diseases. Prions are an exception in biology in that they have no genes. In fact, prions are just a corrupt form of one of the patient’s protein, and by corrupting more of our own protein they proliferate and cause disease. Prions are infectious, and more than 100 people have already succumbed to the human form of mad cow disease in Europe. The discovery in Israel, last month, of a cow sick with BSE has demonstrated that Israel is not immune to infectious prions.

Prion disorders are also unique in that they can also be inherited (through a mutation in the prion protein gene). Familial prion diseases include the well known Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Israel has had a long acquaintance with prions. In fact, the largest cluster of familial CJD in the world is found in Israel. A better understanding of prions also may improve understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.

These circumstances have spurred the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Hadassah Medical Organization to create the Prion Research Center dedicated to the research of prion diseases in Israel. Located at the Faculty of Medicine, Ein Kerem campus in Jerusalem, this center will conduct and coordinate research programs and epidemiological studies on prions diseases. The center will exploit the extensive prion expertise that is already in place at the campus, particularly in the laboratory of Prof. Ruth Gabizon at the department of Neurology in Hadassah and Dr. Taraboulos’ research team, as well as cooperate with researchers from Israel and abroad.

The new center will combine clinical and basic activities. It will try to improve diagnostic procedures, and will attempt to develop therapies. It will collaborate extensively with government and regulatory agencies in Israel and abroad. It is hoped that the new center will help cull the danger of prion spread in Israel and alleviate patient suffering.

The Prion Research Center will open at a ceremony on Wednesday, July 31 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem.

For further information, contact:

Heidi Gleit, HU foreign press liaison: tel. 02-588-2904; cell. 064-454-593; email heidig@savion.cc.huji.ac.il

Orit Sulitzeanu, HU spokeswoman: tel. 02-588-2811

Yael Bossem Levy, Hadassah spokeswoman: tel. 02-677-6220

Heidi Gleit | Hebrew University

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht MicroRNA helps cancer evade immune system
19.09.2017 | Salk Institute

nachricht Ruby: Jacobs University scientists are collaborating in the development of a new type of chocolate
18.09.2017 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>