Joao Vasconcelos Costa (jcosta at pen.gulbenkian.pt) wrote:
: James C. Harrison wrote:
: > Has anybody compared the new CJD cases in England with kuru, the Papuan
: > brain disease thought to be spread through the ritual eating of the dead?
: > Prions have been implicated in kuru as well as CJD, BSE, and scrapie.
: > hexis
: Of course. Kuru and CJD have distinct features (epidemiology, clinical
: pattern, etc) but they are essentially the same entity, with the same
: causative agent (an altered form of the human PrP protein).
: Incidently, it is not proved that kuru was caused by canibalism,
: directly (ie, by oral route). I may have been contracted by parenteral
: inoculation during the preparation of the canibalistic meals.
The possibility that kuru is actually contracted during food preparation
is discussed in the kuru chapter of William H. Durham's Coevolution:
Genes, Cuture, and Human Diversity, a good source of info on kuru with
a very extensive bibliography.
My question is whether the chemical composition of PrP in scrapie, BSE,
CJD, and kuru has been compared recently-I'm not aware of any kuru
research after about '93.
By the way, somebody e-mailed me to inquire if I was suggesting an
outbreak of cannibalism in the U.K., perhaps brought on by general
cultural collapse in the wake of the Royal scandals. I can't
independently verify this idea, but I am monitoring the T.V. for ads for
"People, the other, other white meat."
: : -- :
***** JOAO VASCONCELOS COSTA,
MD, PhD : ***** Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia - Oeiras, Portugal
: ***** mailto:jcosta at pen.gulbenkian.pt: ***** http://www.pen.gulbenkian.pt/v2/jvc.html