Researchers Testing Mad Cow Disease

3-23-06 - Researchers from Texas A&M University are working to develop illness-repellent sheep. It's a step that could lead to the engineering of cattle resistant to mad cow disease.

Veterinarians Mark Westhusin and Charles Long are focusing on turning off the genes that allow illnesses to manifest themselves in animals. Such technology could lead to higher quality fiber, meat and milk products, the veterinarians wrote in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Westhusin, Long and three scientists from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York have reported success so far. Working on a fetal goat, they were able to halt production of a prion protein that causes scrapie. Scrapie is a disease similar to mad cow disease that can't be transmitted to humans.

You can find more information from on this research at The Eagle online.