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NEWS: "Mad Cow-like" Prions Possible in Sheep Milk?

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posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 09:12 AM
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More evidence that Mad Cow and other infectious prions may be in milk was found by Dr. Adriano Aguzzi, one of the world's leading prion researchers based at the Institute of Neuropathology at University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. Aguzzi and his team found prions in the mammary glands of co-infected sheep, and in macrophages - cells used by the immune system to try to clear infection. Reports Aguzzi, "It turns out that if you have an inflammation of the mammary gland, the milk is full of macrophages. So it's not hard from there to infer that eventually you will end up with prions in the milk."

 




canoe.ca


New research into prions, the infectious agents that cause mad cow-like diseases, has found them in the mammary glands of some sheep, raising questions about whether milk and milk products from infected animals could transmit the pathogens. ...prions (are) highly infectious misfolded proteins...

"I think the public health implications of this are profound . . . (and) need further investigation," Dr. Neil Cashman, Canada's leading expert on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or TSEs, said Thursday. ...The findings were reported by a team of scientists led by Dr. Adriano Aguzzi, one of the world's leading prion researchers.

...His team had earlier shown that prions, once thought to be concentrated in the brain and central nervous system tissues of infected animals, actually migrate to other organs if those organs are inflamed because of infection. ...In a study published in January, they showed prions migrated to and propagated in the pancreas, kidney and liver of infected mice when inflammation of those organs was induced. Earlier this fall they showed that mice co-infected with a prion disease and inflammation of the kidneys shed prions in their urine.

Prions were found in the mammary glands of co-infected sheep and in macrophages - cells that the immune system uses to try to clear infection - those sheep generated, Dr. Aguzzi said in an interview from Zurich. ..."It turns out that if you have an inflammation of the mammary gland, the milk is full of macrophages. So it's not hard from there to infer that eventually you will end up with prions in the milk," he said.

Also see:
Nature Magazine Report: Milk is believed to represent a major route of transmission for the natural scrapie prion...
Research suggests prions may be found in milk
Research suggests prions - cause of mad cow diseases - may be found in milk
Ptions in Milk
Sheep May be Able to Transmit Mad Cow



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



It is hard to find online media coverage of this important study. Nature Magazine classifies it as a "Premium" offering: not even an abstract is available to the public. A Google search brings up Canadian coverage in smaller papers - but nothing from the USA or anywhere else. A direct search of the BBC is fruitless; there are no articles about milk and prions. Apparently our corporate rulers have decided that this information's threat to industry is more important than Mad Cow's threat to peoples' health.

This is not the first time researchers have linked Mad Cow and other infectious prions to milk. It's just the latest attempt to make the information public.


For example:

According to the EU's food safety authority EFSA, dairy products made from goat's milk would be unlikely to pose a risk for human health if the milk came from a healthy animal.
Also see: Google Cache

In both VRQ/VRQ lamb groups, PrP(Sc) spatial and temporal accumulation patterns were similar, suggesting post-natal rather than in utero contamination (by Mad Cow-like scrapie prions).
On PubMed
Ed. note: "post-natal" meaning via mother's milk.

...PrP(Sc) was detected only in susceptible VRQ/VRQ sheep, from 2 months of age, with an apparent entry site at the ileal Peyer's patch as well as its draining mesenteric lymph node.
Early accumulation of PrP(Sc) in gut-associated lymphoid and nervous tissues
Ed note: the "entry sites" again indicate transmission via mother's milk.

Also see:
Transcriptional Networks and Cellular Senescence in Human Mammary Fibroblasts




For decades, scientists have been warning authorities that Mad Cow and H5N1 bird flu are spreading, and mutating. They recommend prevention through clean-up and animal quarantines.

But authorities would not act, or allow the public to be informed. They say they want to prevent panic, and protect the economy. More bull puckey. Government is managing the Mad Cow and prion disease crisis the same way they're handling the bird flu crisis - to protect international corporate industry.

It's all about money: profits before people. In point of fact, Mad Cow doesn't cost industry anything, unless the public knows what's going on.

Clean-up and prevention was still possible even three months ago. Now, it may not be.

So authorities plan to quarantine infected people - instead of quarantining animals to prevent Mad Cow's and H5N1 bird flu's spread and mutation.





CDC's Proposed Quarantine Rules

Quarantine: A Standard Depopulation Strategy

Bus commuter vs. Big Brother. Papers, please!

Miami Police Vow 'Surprise' ID Sweeps

Mad Cow Madness




(Edit to the headline for a better reflection of the article content.)

[edit on 2-12-2005 by SkepticOverlord]




posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 09:39 AM
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Scientific research now shows that there are two avenues for infectious prions to enter the milk supply. Via:

1. Mammary glands; and

2. Macrophages, in the presence of a secondary infection.


The appropriate question is not "Are there prions in milk?" but rather:

How contaminated is the milk supply, given that there is NO testing of milk for prion contamination?





posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
The appropriate question is not "Are there prions in milk?" but rather:

How contaminated is the milk supply, given that there is NO testing of milk for prion contamination?




Given the evidence, I find the fact that no testing is conducted to be simply astounding. This could be the sleeper disaster of the future....



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 10:40 AM
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Here is the play folks...
some people are not succeptable to prions... these are the lucky ones...

even with new testing procedures, the powers that be, have no real defense against prions other than "culling"

they cannot guarantee that prions in the soil will not reinfect younger healthy stock, from contaminations decades ago...

they can only sit back and watch to see how many people eventually get prion diseases... and how many were immune.

medical science never gives up, but prions are a rather invasive tricky deal, that might take decades to solve or improve.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong

medical science never gives up, but prions are a rather invasive tricky deal, that might take decades to solve or improve.


Yes that may be true but how long has the prion been around and how long the birth flu and mad cow diseases has been given attention.

Perhaps we are already infected and now the scientist are just waiting to see how the human body will react to it.

Then is easier to concentrate on managing the symptoms than looking for cures.

Its better to have people hook to drugs for life that ensure a very profitable none stop income than looking to stop the symptoms through cures.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 11:53 AM
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Very legitimate concerns Marge...

My hope is that the relativly new understandings of prions will enable new methods of treatment...

these are the newest bug in the bunch, and many doctors still dont even know what they are... the word is getting out, but will take time...

but just like anything... you cant get there very fast, if you dont know where you are going...
and now at least, some scientists know where we are going, instead of spinning in circles getting dizzy...
- Laz



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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Sofi,

Wow, great find. I've not looked through all of your links yet, but this is hugely significant... could potentially confirm some of my own fears re: TSE's.


You have voted soficrow for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


You seem to have to have the topic under control, but if there's anything that I can do for you, let me know.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Here is the play folks...
some people are not succeptable to prions... these are the lucky ones...




How can you presume to make that statement? Most prion strains and prion-related diseases are not acknowledged officially.

My research shows that:

1. Prions aren't just infectious, but can be transmitted congenitally and may cause genetic mutations.

2. Infectious prions morph into new strains on exposure to new cells as well as with environmental change - there is no genetic immunity - just new strains, different diseases, and other symptoms.





even with new testing procedures, the powers that be, have no real defense against prions other than "culling"




EXACTLY - so it's okay to quarantine and "cull" humans, but not livestock ?!?






they cannot guarantee that prions in the soil will not reinfect younger healthy stock, from contaminations decades ago...



True. And now, it totally begs the issue that everything is contaminated - and that industry creates new prions every day, and dumps them into the environment... So the circle goes round and round.




they can only sit back and watch to see how many people eventually get prion diseases... and how many were immune.



Again. There is NO IMMUNITY - just new strains with different targets and symptoms, and slower disease progression. You have been misinformed.

It only looks like poor people living in ghettoes are 'genetically inferior' and diseased - but in fact, they're ahead of the game in adapting to this new contaminated world we have created.

Good food, and clean air and water can help preserve the illusion of health - because environmental contaminants do speed progression. But good living doesn't cure the "disease" - or stop the evolutionary process.




medical science never gives up, but prions are a rather invasive tricky deal, that might take decades to solve or improve.


We are in an evolutionary crisis - caused by a contaminated world.

IMO - the human species is adapting, along with all the other lifeforms now infected by prions.

Medical science might be useful IF the world were cleaned up. As it is, we may be better off relying on natural adaptive processes, rather than trying to turn back the evolutionary clock through "medicine."



.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 02:20 PM
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marg - I think you hit the nail on the head:

It's more profitable to treat secondary symtpoms than to cure the disease - or clean up the world, for that matter.





Originally posted by mattison0922
Sofi,

Wow, great find. I've not looked through all of your links yet, but this is hugely significant...

You have voted soficrow for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


You seem to have to have the topic under control, but if there's anything that I can do for you, let me know.


Thanks mattison.


Please - post away - your contributions are welcome and GREATLY appreciated.

Next - I was going to explain the links between milk, prions, obesity and other epidemic chronic diseases - but realized I need to talk about strains first.

Will post on prion strains soon.


.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 02:43 PM
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ok, i'm admittedly ignorant on this subject, so i have a question that may or may not be a dumb one, if someone would like to inform me:

does pasteurization of milk not get rid of the contaminents? i thought that's what the process did.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 02:50 PM
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Originally posted by snafu7700
ok, i'm admittedly ignorant on this subject, so i have a question that may or may not be a dumb one, if someone would like to inform me:

does pasteurization of milk not get rid of the contaminents? i thought that's what the process did.



Good question snafu - thanks for asking.

The answer is no - prions are proteins, technically they're not alive, and they can't be killed. Standard decontamination and sterilization procedures don't even touch the little suckers - and if they do, like super-high heat, all that happens is the prions mutate, and morph into a new strain that's resistant to the assault.

New filtering processes have been invented, and new enzymes that can be used for sterilization of existent facilities.

BUT - they are not used, and no regulations have been passed to force their use.

In short - prion transmission by milk is preventable. But it's easier and cheaper to deny that there is a problem.






posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 05:54 PM
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Sofi can prion disease can fall on some kind of cancer type of disease? I wonder sometimes when diseases are so hard to cure because they have the ability to change or develop into many others symptoms as to mask them as new.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by snafu7700
ok, i'm admittedly ignorant on this subject, so i have a question that may or may not be a dumb one, if someone would like to inform me:

does pasteurization of milk not get rid of the contaminents? i thought that's what the process did.

Hey... that's what the board is for. Ask a question... get a bunch of answers. Great Resource actually. Sofi did a bang up job answering your question, so I won't elaborate on her stuff.


Originally posted by soficrow
The answer is no - prions are proteins, technically they're not alive, and they can't be killed. Standard decontamination and sterilization procedures don't even touch the little suckers - and if they do, like super-high heat, all that happens is the prions mutate, and morph into a new strain that's resistant to the assault.

Sofi - good answer. And you make a good point that should probably be taken further. Not to nitpick terminology, but 'mutate' implies a genetic change... at least IMO. What you're talking about is a conformational change... or a change in shape.

Basically, the protein found a new energy minima... a shape that is more stable given the change in environmental conditions. The scariest part is that the new 'strain' is in fact not necessarily rendered harmless.

In fact, there is significant evidence to suggest that a minor change in the shape of a prion is all that is needed to infect a different host species. There are a couple of different studie that suggest the shape of the prion, and not the amino acid sequence are what's important in the sensitivity of one species.

IOW... and this is somewhat speculative on my part, theoretically, things like heating prions to high temperature, or altering them chemically or enzymatically in an effort to neutralize them could bestow pathogenic properties on previously innocuous prions.


New filtering processes have been invented, and new enzymes that can be used for sterilization of existent facilities.

How big are the filters sofi? Standard 0.2µm filters are massive compared to a prion, and those filters clog up quickly. I can imagine the problems are somewhat magnified on the industrial/commercial scale. Any links?


In short - prion transmission by milk is preventable. But it's easier and cheaper to deny that there is a problem.

Not so sure I agree with this based on modern industrial farming techniques.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Sofi can prion disease can fall on some kind of cancer type of disease? I wonder sometimes when diseases are so hard to cure because they have the ability to change or develop into many others symptoms as to mask them as new.


Marg, I know this wasn't directed at me, but I'll make an effort to field it.

Cancer and TSEs (prion diseases) are both molecular diseases, ie: there is a difficulty at the cellular level, it manifests itself on the organismal and systemic levels, but is distinctly a cellular disorder. For comparison, a bacterial infection is more of a systemic or tissue related disorder.

Cancers arise as a consequence of errors/mutations in particular genes that are related to some aspect of cellular growth. You can think of cancer very simply actually: Cancer is cells growing when and where they shouldn't be. The disruption is usually caused by mutations in several genes. Most specialists believe that for cancer to occur, at least 3 or 5 critical cell cycle control genes must be affected.

TSE's arise because of an entirely different phenomena. The currently accepted hypothesis is that prions arise via a process called nucleation. The raw materials for prion diseases are already present in cells. It's a specific protein common to most animals. Now... most of the time, this protein has a very specific shape; it's the proteins preferred shape. In the case of a TSE, somehow one of these proteins becomes 'misshapen' in an affected animal. This misshaped protein induces (nucleates) the proteins that are folded correctly to adopt this new, harmful shape. This process continues until the proteins form large aggregates, eventually killing the cells.

Does this make sense?



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 06:18 PM
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This is scary..I do not know if it is still recommended, but when my Mom had bad ulcers, she was given sheep and goat milk as a very effective curative..
I hope this does not turn out true..



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 06:36 PM
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Originally posted by siriuslyone
This is scary..I do not know if it is still recommended, but when my Mom had bad ulcers, she was given sheep and goat milk as a very effective curative..
I hope this does not turn out true..


Hey... relax... your mom's probably no more at risk than anyone who hasn't been vegan for the past 25 or 30 years.

Of course I think Sofi's got this covered as well. If I recall, Sofi, didn't you post some 'prions in plants' stuff not too long ago?



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 07:40 PM
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well, the red cross takes this stuff pretty seriously. i was stationed in italy from 94 to 96 during one of the big mad cow escapades of the 90s. after 9/11 i tried to give blood at the local red cross and was denied because i was in europe during this time frame. seems they dont know what the long term effects are, and dont want to spread anything to the general public. talk about a rude awakening.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 07:44 PM
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Wow. GREAT stuff mattison.


I need to be quick here, so just a few points.

mattison - nucleation aside, I think the evidence does show a strong link between prions and cancer. The association seems to be related to prions infecting stem cells, and as well, to prions' ability to hitchhike on viruses (as well as other microbes). A key virus in this process would be the Rous virus - but I believe there are more. So we're seeing what amounts to a multi-dimensional bouncing - not just between species, but cross-kingdom too - and responsive to every kind of environmental contamination... Talk about complex adaprive systems interracting - needless to say the pathways and results are ...complicated.


More re genetics: Dogma equates proteins with genes - so protein mapping often is presented as gene mapping. It's not accurate - given epigenetics and prions.

BUT - here's some interesting news about mapping proteins:


Web watch: Towards a human protein atlas
SOURCE: Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

A new database containing thousands of images of protein expression in human tissue allows users to systematically explore the human proteome.

If you want to know where your favourite protein is expressed, look no further. A new database, dubbed the Human Protein Atlas, contains hundreds of thousands of images of protein expression in normal human tissues and cancer cells.


A new database containing thousands of images of protein expression in human tissue allows users to systematically explore the human proteome.
Original research paper:
info.nature.com...
info.nature.com...


Human Protein Atlas
A protein atlas has been created to show the expression and localization of proteins in a large variety of normal human tissues and cancer cells. The data is presented as high resolution images representing immunohistochemically stained tissue sections. Available proteins (genes) can be reached through a specific search (by gene/protein name/id or classification, such as kinase or protease) or by browsing the individual chromosomes.

The atlas is part of the HUPO Human Antibody Initiative (HAI).

Human Antibody Initiative
Overview of Project
This Initiative aims to promote and facilitate the use of antibodies for proteomics research. The initiative consists of two separate activities; (1) the generation of a catalogue of validated antibodies from many different sources and (2) a protein atlas for the expression and localization of human proteins in normal and disease tissue. The two separate activities have as their primary deliverables to generate databases with free public accessibility.




And something to get back to later regarding genetic inheritance, and epigenetics:


Lamarckism finds new lease of life in a prion

EVOLUTION can occur in a way never previously shown. Geneticists have discovered that the strange proteins called prions can temporarily give yeast cells new powers which can then be quickly, and permanently, assimilated into their chromosomes.

"This provides a novel way for organisms to try out different traits, survive and adapt to fluctuating environments," says Susan Lindquist who led the work at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The finding unexpectedly brings together the theories that Charles Darwin and his chief rival Jean-Baptiste Lamarck developed to explain evolution.

Translated into modern terms, Darwin's theory of natural selection states that organisms with genes more suited to their environment survive, passing those genes on to their offspring, while those with unfit genes perish. In that way, a species becomes more attuned to its environment with each generation. Genes are involved in most matters of heredity, so Darwin was proved ...







posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 07:50 PM
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Originally posted by mattison0922


New filtering processes have been invented, and new enzymes that can be used for sterilization of existent facilities.

How big are the filters sofi? Standard 0.2µm filters are massive compared to a prion, and those filters clog up quickly. I can imagine the problems are somewhat magnified on the industrial/commercial scale. Any links?



Have to find the file. I think it's a series of graduated filters, but not sure.





In short - prion transmission by milk is preventable. But it's easier and cheaper to deny that there is a problem.

Not so sure I agree with this based on modern industrial farming techniques.


It may be that the prevention strategy recommended losing the industrial farming techniques. Apparently, many of those techniques actually create prions, which become infectious once they're loose in the environment.



PS. Great explanation re mutation versus conformation. :up ...I try to simplify - but maybe too much sometimes?

Sorry - need to come back to this tomorrow.


Thanks again mattison.

[edit on 2-12-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 10:18 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
mattison - nucleation aside, I think the evidence does show a strong link between prions and cancer. The association seems to be related to prions infecting stem cells, and as well, to prions' ability to hitchhike on viruses (as well as other microbes). A key virus in this process would be the Rous virus - but I believe there are more. So we're seeing what amounts to a multi-dimensional bouncing - not just between species, but cross-kingdom too - and responsive to every kind of environmental contamination... Talk about complex adaprive systems interracting - needless to say the pathways and results are ...complicated.

Sofi... would be interested to examine said evidence sometime. Please forward some refs. when the opportunity presents itself. When you state there is a strong link between please prions and cancer it pretty much just leaves me wanting. Can you perhaps be more descriptive: ie: is there evidence to suggest that prions actually induce genetic changes at relevant loci? I am completely unfamiliar with Rous virus, and probably am not going to search it at this hour.... Perhaps tomorrow.


More re genetics: Dogma equates proteins with genes - so protein mapping often is presented as gene mapping. It's not accurate - given epigenetics and prions.

I am not sure I was able to absorb the final point behind this statement. Ultimately, proteins are produced by the genes that encode them. Can you elaborate on the terms 'protein mapping' vs. 'gene mapping' in my own mind these are completely separate things that deal with different temporal expressions of the same information. I can certainly see the relation between epigenetics, and proteins, but the link you are making between these and prions escapes me. Can you perhaps elaborate?

Certainly the protein atlas is a great project, right up in my links with the PDB database. But again the relevance between this database and the topic of this thread escapes me.


EVOLUTION can occur in a way never previously shown. Geneticists have discovered that the strange proteins called prions can temporarily give yeast cells new powers which can then be quickly, and permanently, assimilated into their chromosomes.

"This provides a novel way for organisms to try out different traits, survive and adapt to fluctuating environments," says Susan Lindquist who led the work at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The finding unexpectedly brings together the theories that Charles Darwin and his chief rival Jean-Baptiste Lamarck developed to explain evolution.

Translated into modern terms, Darwin's theory of natural selection states that organisms with genes more suited to their environment survive, passing those genes on to their offspring, while those with unfit genes perish. In that way, a species becomes more attuned to its environment with each generation. Genes are involved in most matters of heredity, so Darwin was proved ...


Interestingly enough, epigenetics in general has boosted the resurgence of Lamarckian type philosophy in the science community. While for the most part the idea of Lamarckian inheritance on a systemic level is still dismissed, but the field of epigenetics, particularly with respect to chromatin remodeling and gene silencing via methylation, is seeing a renewed sense of respect. As you are well aware, epigenetic changes can have huge phenotypic effects without altering the actual genetic information. Awesome stuff.



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