Mad Cow Disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is a neurodegenerative disease that was formerly believed caused by a food-borne pathogen, but now appears to involve genetic mutation. The gene is located on chromosome 20. This is a prion disease—a prion being a misfolded version of a protein. Prions, once formed in the body, can spread at an exponential rate. Evidence of this was found in the eating of infected beef, resulting in some 210 people developing the “variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease” (vCJD). In BSE, the brains of cows take on the appearance of a sponge. To gain depth of insight to learn of efforts at BSE's eradication, read insightful articles by Bright Hub contributors.
Bovine Prion Protein
Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain by PDB
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