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Mad cow breakthrough involves serum test

Article

San Francisco-The collaborations of Chronix Biomedical, a translational genomics company, with the Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Georg-August University in Goettingen, Germany, have resulted in creation of a serum-based test to detect bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease).

San Francisco-The collaborations of Chronix Biomedical, a translationalgenomics company, with the Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Georg-AugustUniversity in Goettingen, Germany, have resulted in creation of a serum-basedtest to detect bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease).

The application describes unique genetic material found only in cowsaffected with BSE. Key to this discovery is that animals need not be sacrificedto be tested as must be done with current BSE detection methods.

The research collaboration, which started in June, enabled Chronix tocontribute its expertise in nucleic acid detection and expression profiling.Research has focused on identifying the molecular basis of the disease andmethods for detecting affected cattle.

Further plans are for Chronix to focus efforts in a similar researchinitiative aimed at understanding the relationship between BSE and the variantof Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD).

In other news: A British biotech firm says it has won the world's firstpatent for a blood test for mad cow disease. Proteome Sciences Plc saysits test, covered by an Australian patent, could be used to screen nationalblood banks for vCJD and diagnose disease in animals.

This simple blood test would allow veterinarians and doctors to confirmthe disease earlier.

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