BIOHAZARDS - Global Health 2


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SV-40 & HIV/AIDS contamination.  98 million Americans received polio vacinne in an 8-year span (1955-1963) that was contaminated with a cancer causing polyomavirus called SV 40.  The article furter reported that that HIV/AIDS was spread by the hepatitis B vaccine produced by Merck in the early 1970s.

PRIONS - Prions are responsible for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy ( BSE ) otherwise known as "mad cow disease".  Prions are also responsible for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease ( CJD ) and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease ( vCJD ).  Both CJD and vCJD have been referred to as rare in humans but that primarily has been due to stringent screening of cattle for human consumption and feed for that cattle.  There have been many reports about slaughterhouses using electric shock to move cattle that may be infected by BSE (look up downer cow).

Prions cannot be destroyed by cooking.

What is a prion?  "...transmittable particles that are devoid of nucleic acid and seem to be composed exclusively of a modified protein (PrP superscript Sc)  (Ref 1)

What effect does a prion have on the human brain? "Many neurodegenerative illnesses have been shown to be caused by the accumulation of self-propagating misfolded proteins - the hallmark of prion diseases" (Ref 2)

A discovery suggesting that prions are central to Alzheimer's : "The aggregation and disposition of amyloid-B (AB) peptides are believed to be central events in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease...capable of self-propagation and hence might be prions." (Ref 3)

1 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 10, 1998 vol 95 no 23 "Prions"
2 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 29, 2013 vol 110 no 44 "Drug resistance confounding prion therapeutics"
3 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 3, 2012 vol 109 no 27 "Purified and synthetic Alzheimer's amyloid beta (AB) prions"