In the May 2003 issue of EMBO reports, researchers from the German Robert Koch Institute in Berlin report finding the pathological prion protein PrPSc in a wide range of skeletal muscles after feeding hamsters with prion-infected food. PrPSc is believed to be an essential - if not the sole - constituent of the agent that causes BSE in cattle, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.
The researchers fed Syrian hamsters with food pellets that contained mashed-up brain tissue from scrapie-infected hamsters. These hamsters developed symptoms of scrapie as expected and were put down at the terminal stage of the disease. The researchers used a highly sensitive method (Western blot analysis) to analyse concentrated extracts from different muscles in the animals. They subsequently detected the pathological prion protein in various types of skeletal muscle of the terminally-ill animals. A control group of uninfected hamsters did not show pathological prion protein in their muscle tissue.
"These results support and expand on recent observations by Stanley Prusiner and his colleagues, who found scrapie agent in the hind limb muscles of mice whose brains had been injected with prions," says Michael Beekes, researcher at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin. Until recently, PrPSc has normally been found in the central nervous system or in the lymphatic system, for instance, but never in skeletal muscle. "However, we have to clearly state that these results in mice and hamsters do not necessarily mean that skeletal muscles of cows or sheep infected with BSE or scrapie, respectively, actually do contain prions. At present, the experiments only suggest that more research needs to be done in this area," added Beekes. (EP)
Ellen Peerenboom | EMBO
A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure
24.11.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University
High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons
The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences