The Newsroom    Published Wednesday, May. 31, 2006, 11:37 AM
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Can this really kill you?

The Daily Telegraph (Internet / Print) 05/31/06 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2006/05/30/eccow30.xml&sSheet=/connected/2006/05/30/ixconnrite.html The most fundamental issue of all was raised by the Nobel prizewinner Prof Kurt Wuthrich of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich: he pointed out that researchers have failed to produce spongiform disease using laboratory-made prions, the only real way to eliminate the possibility that another agent might be responsible. That challenge seemed to have been met last year in the journal Cell, in an experiment by Prof Claudio Soto at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. His team took prions from infected hamsters and placed them in test tubes containing healthy brain proteins. When the healthy proteins had been largely transformed into prions, the samples were diluted over and over again and the process repeated, until the only remaining prions were presumably those that had been newly generated in the test tubes. These were then injected into the brains of healthy hamsters, which died less than six months after inoculation.



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