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 Why developing nerve cells can take a wrong turn
04.06.2020 | Universität zu Köln

nachricht Innocent and highly oxidizing
04.06.2020 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Small Protein, Big Impact

In meningococci, the RNA-binding protein ProQ plays a major role. Together with RNA molecules, it regulates processes that are important for pathogenic properties of the bacteria.

Meningococci are bacteria that can cause life-threatening meningitis and sepsis. These pathogens use a small protein with a large impact: The RNA-binding...

Im Focus: K-State study reveals asymmetry in spin directions of galaxies

Research also suggests the early universe could have been spinning

An analysis of more than 200,000 spiral galaxies has revealed unexpected links between spin directions of galaxies, and the structure formed by these links...

Im Focus: New measurement exacerbates old problem

Two prominent X-ray emission lines of highly charged iron have puzzled astrophysicists for decades: their measured and calculated brightness ratios always disagree. This hinders good determinations of plasma temperatures and densities. New, careful high-precision measurements, together with top-level calculations now exclude all hitherto proposed explanations for this discrepancy, and thus deepen the problem.

Hot astrophysical plasmas fill the intergalactic space, and brightly shine in stellar coronae, active galactic nuclei, and supernova remnants. They contain...

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Why developing nerve cells can take a wrong turn

04.06.2020 | Life Sciences

The broken mirror: Can parity violation in molecules finally be measured?

04.06.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Innocent and highly oxidizing

04.06.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>