Steer clear!

Published: Saturday 30 November 1996

beef is bad, really. All speculations can now be put to rest with the confirmation through a study that eating a 'mad cow' beef dish could land you with a new strain of the Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (cjd). The study was headed by John Collinge of the Imperial College of Science and Medicine, London, and the team included researchers from the National cjd Surveillance unit

The scientists discovered a 'molecular marker' which they concluded to be a new form of the disease. The marker, which was similar to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (bse), could also lead to tests which could reveal the presence of the disease. Said Collinge, "This provides supportive evidence for bse being the cause of the new variant cjd ."

Collinge's team worked with the prion proteins associated with both cjd and bse . Prions from the new variant of cjd resembled those which were affected by bse, rather than the prevailing versions of cjd .

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