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New test detects toxic prions in blood

The first cases of mad cow disease in humans occurred in the late 1990s and are thought to be the consequence of eating contaminated beef products. Several cases of secondary infections caused by transfusions with blood from donors who developed vCJD have been reported, raising concerns about the safety of blood products. A new article describes an assay that can detect prions in blood samples from humans with vCJD and in animals at early stages of the incubation phase.
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