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Rogue Proteins Found In Unexpected Organs


10/19/2005 5:12:31 PM

Rogue proteins like those that cause mad cow disease — found previously only in brain, nerve and lymph tissues — have now been located in the liver, kidney and pancreas in a study of rodents. While the discovery raises the possibility that similar proteins could move into unanticipated parts of farm animals that have similar diseases, it is not a reason for alarm, says researcher Adriano Aguzzi of the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland. But, he adds, "There is reason to reappraise critically the way regulations that are already in place" are enforced. Sick animals such as sheep and cows should not enter the human food chain, Aguzzi, the lead researcher in the study, said in a telephone interview.

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