Giant Microbes Plush - Mad Cow (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy)


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Giant Microbes Plush - Mad Cow (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy)

These Giant Microbes Dolls are a Million times their Actual Size! GIANT microbes are health and science products for humorous, educational, collectible and Smart fun! Products include printed cards with fun fascinating facts. Unique gifts for students, scientists, teachers, health professionals & anyone with a healthy sense of humor!

All About Mad Cow (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy)

When bovine prions stampede the wrong way, everyone says Moo! (Each doll has its own unique pattern.)
 

FACTS: First identified in Britain in the mid-1980's, Mad Cow disease, or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), is generally thought to be the work of proteinaceous infectious particles, or prions. These inanimate amino acid chains (which are far smaller than bacteria or viruses, and are not destroyed by thorough cooking) normally twist like pretzels into a particular shape. According to theory, they can get a little crazy and twist the wrong way. Similar proteins follow the herd, go nuts as well, and congeal into long rods that ultimately inhibit brain function. (Other prion diseases include the sheep-disease scrapie; Kuru, once found in the cannibals of Papua-New Guinea; and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a variant of which is believed to be Mad Cow in humans.)

Although Mad Cow prions are typically found in brains and spinal tissues, and are thought to be transmissible primarily by direct consumption, even cows and humans without a predilection for consuming nervous tissues are at risk: at processing plants, these materials can end up both in cattle feed and on your sirloin steak. (In fact, cattle feed contaminated with scrapie-infected sheep tissue is credited with spreading ovine prions into the bovine population.)

With an up-to-decades-long latency period, no cure, no treatment, and no chance of recovery, concern about BSE is no bull. Nevertheless, the risk of infection is extremely low. Strenuous efforts are being made to prevent the spread of Mad Cow, including the implementation of strict animal feed regulations and processing standards. So beef-eaters are hardly insane to keep eating – though that may make cows even madder....

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