The work was carried out by scientists at the National CJD Surveillance Unit at the University of Edinburgh, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, Neuropathogenesis Unit and CSL Behring. It is published this month in the Journal of Pathology.
The team, led by Dr. Mark Head, also shows for the first time that variant CJD prions can be amplified from brain tissue samples using normal blood cells to improve the sensitivity of current detection tests. This method has the potential to be applied on other tissues and fluids, including blood. The prion amplification is dependent on genetic factors, similar to those influencing susceptibility to variant CJD.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) seems to result from conversion of a normal protein in the body to an abnormal form that is self-replicating as a prion and toxic to the brain. In variant CJD, this occurs after infection by the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prion. Following exposure to BSE, there is a long silent period before the prion spreads to the brain and causes neurological symptoms. It is now clear that during this silent period individuals can pass variant CJD prions on to others by blood transfusion and there are also fears that the disease might also be spread by certain kinds of surgery.
One way to protect blood recipients from this threat is to screen blood donations for prions, but efforts to develop such a test have proven difficult, partly because of the very low level of prions that are likely to be present in blood.
The team stress that the work is at an early stage, but co-researcher Professor James Ironside, of the National CJD Surveillance Unit at the University of Edinburgh, said “These new findings provide us with an invaluable tool to study one of the fundamental aspects of variant CJD and take us one step closer towards supporting a test to screen for individuals who might inadvertently pass this disease on to others through blood transfusion, organ donation or surgery.”
Jennifer Beal | alfa
Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University
Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017
25.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
25.04.2017 | Life Sciences