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BSE questions

john brooks jbrooks at peeras.demon.co.uk
Fri Mar 22 05:39:50 EST 1996


I hope these are appropriate questions for this group - having 
trawled through all 10000-plus groups looking for appropriate 
keywords, I ended up with only one candidate!
I further hope that these issues have not been covered with 
recently.
Note that whilst reasonably well-informed, I am not a virologist.

-	wozza prion? Yup, I know it's a protein and presumably 
capable of self-replication, but what about other similarities / 
differences to viruses?

-	are scrapie and BSE caused by identical prions? if so, why 
are we only panicking about beef? is the cause - effect 
relationship for a prion and BSE fully established?

-	are cattle susceptible to BSE infection due to the 
inability of their digestive systems to digest proteins? IOW, do 
complete proteins 'leak out' into the blood stream as such, rather 
than being disassembled into amino acids first?

tia and best regards,
-jb
-- 

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| john brooks    EMail jbrooks at peeras.demon.co.uk
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