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 Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>