Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Creating plastic from beef and what about those pesky prions TSE mad cow agent ?

Creating plastic from beef and what about those pesky prions TSE mad cow agent ?

Creating plastic from beef

By Bev Betkowski

August 12, 2011

(Edmonton) They look a little like fake cookies, the kind you’d find in a child’s toy oven, but the chocolate brown plastic discs created by University of Alberta researcher David Bressler and his lab represent the future of ingenious recycling.

Using the throwaway parts of beef carcasses that were sidelined from the value-added production process after bovine spongiform encephalopathy devastated the industry in 2003, Bressler, an associate professor in the U of A’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science has collaborated with industry, government and other researchers to forge cattle proteins into heavy-duty plastics that could soon be used in everything from car parts to CD cases.

The University of Alberta is the only post-secondary facility to be approved by the Canada Food Inspection Agency to conduct research involving turning high-risk proteins into safe, sustainable materials.

By finding a way to convert these animal byproducts into plastics for industrial use, Bressler and his team, which also includes Phillip Choi, a professor in the U of A’s Faculty of Engineering, hope to divert tonnes of protein waste from landfills across North America, shift to using renewable resources instead of petrochemicals to make plastics, and boost flagging profit levels in the cattle industry.

Beef producers took an economic hit when byproducts such as blood and bone were regulated out of the rendering process after BSE was found in Canada, for fear the material contained deadly prions—infectious proteins that cause BSE, more commonly known as mad cow disease.

“If we can get more fundamental value back into the rendering process, it will help the livestock industry more than any government policy,” Bressler says.

A patent has been filed on the thermal process used to turn protein from bovine byproducts into plastics. Using high temperatures, the proteins are broken into small pieces then cross-linked to other protein molecules to create a network that forms a rigid structure.

The new plastics from Bressler’s lab are currently being tested by The Woodbridge group, a car parts manufacturer. Current funding is focused on research that further experiments with the product, to see if the plastics can be mixed with renewable fibres such as hemp. If successful, the resulting bio-composite material could be used in high-strength materials such as building structural supports.

The bio-friendly plastics, though still in the development stage, are poised to become an innovative addition to the manufacturing industry, Bressler believes. “The plastic industry is under pressure to increase the renewable content in its products. As a result, this project offers the opportunity to do just that, and at the same time help send value back to rural Alberta and the beef sector.”

Bressler’s work is supported by the Alberta Prion Research Institute, PrioNet Canada and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency.


Prion Infected Meat-and-Bone Meal Is Still Infectious after Biodiesel Production

Cathrin E. Bruederle,1* Robert M. Hnasko,1 Thomas Kraemer,2 Rafael A. Garcia,3 Michael J. Haas,3 William N. Marmer,3 and John Mark Carter1 1USDA-ARS WRRC, Foodborne Contaminants Research Unit, Albany, California, United States of America 2Forensic Toxicology, Institute of Legal Medicine, Saarland University, Homburg/Saar, Germany 3USDA-ARS ERRC, Fats, Oils and Animal Coproducts Research Unit, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, United States of America Neil Mabbott, EditorUniversity of Edinburgh, United Kingdom *

E-mail: cathrin.bruederle@gmail.comConceived and designed the experiments: CEB RMH WNM JMC. Performed the experiments: CEB RMH TK. Analyzed the data: CEB TK JMC. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: CEB RMH TK RAG MJH JMC. Wrote the paper: CEB. Received April 21, 2008; Accepted July 24, 2008. Other Sections?


The epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has led to a world-wide drop in the market for beef by-products, such as Meat-and-Bone Meal (MBM), a fat-containing but mainly proteinaceaous product traditionally used as an animal feed supplement. While normal rendering is insufficient, the production of biodiesel from MBM has been suggested to destroy infectivity from transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). In addition to producing fuel, this method simultaneously generates a nutritious solid residue. In our study we produced biodiesel from MBM under defined conditions using a modified form of alkaline methanolysis. We evaluated the presence of prion in the three resulting phases of the biodiesel reaction (Biodiesel, Glycerol and Solid Residue) in vitro and in vivo. Analysis of the reaction products from 263K scrapie infected MBM led to no detectable immunoreactivity by Western Blot. Importantly, and in contrast to the biochemical results the solid MBM residue from the reaction retained infectivity when tested in an animal bioassay. Histochemical analysis of hamster brains inoculated with the solid residue showed typical spongiform degeneration and vacuolation. Re-inoculation of these brains into a new cohort of hamsters led to onset of clinical scrapie symptoms within 75 days, suggesting that the specific infectivity of the prion protein was not changed during the biodiesel process. The biodiesel reaction cannot be considered a viable prion decontamination method for MBM, although we observed increased survival time of hamsters and reduced infectivity greater than 6 log orders in the solid MBM residue. Furthermore, results from our study compare for the first time prion detection by Western Blot versus an infectivity bioassay for analysis of biodiesel reaction products. We could show that biochemical analysis alone is insufficient for detection of prion infectivity after a biodiesel process.


New studies on the heat resistance of hamster-adapted scrapie agent: Threshold survival after ashing at 600°C suggests an inorganic template of replication

Paul Brown*,dagger , Edward H. RauDagger , Bruce K. Johnson*, Alfred E. Bacote*, Clarence J. Gibbs Jr.*, and D. Carleton Gajdusek§ * Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and Dagger Environmental Protection Branch, Division of Safety, Office of Research Services, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892; and § Institut Alfred Fessard, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 91198 Gif sur Yvette, France Contributed by D. Carleton Gajdusek, December 22, 1999


One-gram samples from a pool of crude brain tissue from hamsters infected with the 263K strain of hamster-adapted scrapie agent were placed in covered quartz-glass crucibles and exposed for either 5 or 15 min to dry heat at temperatures ranging from 150°C to 1,000°C. Residual infectivity in the treated samples was assayed by the intracerebral inoculation of dilution series into healthy weanling hamsters, which were observed for 10 months; disease transmissions were verified by Western blot testing for proteinase-resistant protein in brains from clinically positive hamsters. Unheated control tissue contained 9.9 log10LD50/g tissue; after exposure to 150°C, titers equaled or exceeded 6 log10LD50/g, and after exposure to 300°C, titers equaled or exceeded 4 log10LD50/g. Exposure to 600°C completely ashed the brain samples, which, when reconstituted with saline to their original weights, transmitted disease to 5 of 35 inoculated hamsters. No transmissions occurred after exposure to 1,000°C. These results suggest that an inorganic molecular template with a decomposition point near 600°C is capable of nucleating the biological replication of the scrapie agent. transmissible spongiform encephalopathy | scrapie | prion | medical waste | incineration Introduction The infectious agents responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) are notoriously resistant to most physical and chemical methods used for inactivating pathogens, including heat. It has long been recognized, for example, that boiling is ineffective and that higher temperatures are most efficient when combined with steam under pressure (i.e., autoclaving). As a means of decontamination, dry heat is used only at the extremely high temperatures achieved during incineration, usually in excess of 600°C. It has been assumed, without proof, that incineration totally inactivates the agents of TSE, whether of human or animal origin. It also has been assumed that the replication of these agents is a strictly biological process (1), although the notion of a "virus" nucleant of an inorganic molecular cast of the infectious beta -pleated peptide also has been advanced (2). In this paper, we address these issues by means of dry heat inactivation studies.

see full text:



Survival of PrPSc during Simulated Wastewater Treatment Processes

Pedersen, J1; Hinckley, G1; McMahon, K2; McKenzie, D3; Aiken, JM3 1University of Wisconsin, Soil Science/Civil and Environmental Engineering, USA; 2University of Wisconsin, Civil and Environmental Engineering, USA; 3University of Wisconsin, Comparative Biosciences, USA

Concern has been expressed that prions could enter wastewater treatment systems through sewer and/or septic systems (e.g., necropsy laboratories, rural meat processors, private game dressing) or through leachate from landfills that have received TSE-contaminated material. Prions are highly resistant to degradation and many disinfection procedures raising concern that they could survive conventional wastewater treatment. Here, we report the results of experiments examining the partitioning and survival of PrPSc during simulated wastewater treatment processes including activated and mesophilic anaerobic sludge digestion. We establish that PrPSc can be efficiently extracted from activated and anaerobic digester sludges with 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate, 10% sodium undecyl sulfate, and 1% sodium N-lauryl sarcosinate. Activated sludge digestion does not result in significant degradation of PrPSc. The protein partitions strongly to the activated sludge solids and is expected to enter biosolids treatment processes. A large fraction of PrPSc survived simulated mesophilic anaerobic sludge digestion. Our results suggest that if prions were to enter municipal waste water treatment systems, most of the agent would partition to activated sludge solids, survive mesophilic anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids. Land application of biosolids containing prions could represent a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results argue for excluding inputs of prions to municipal wastewater treatment facilities that would result in unacceptable risk of prion disease transmission via contaminated biosolids.

snip...end....NEUROPRION 2007



Survival and Limited Spread of TSE Infectivity after Burial

Karen Fernie, Allister Smith and Robert A. Somerville The Roslin Institute and R(D)SVS; University of Edinburgh; Roslin, Scotland UK

Scrapie and chronic wasting disease probably spread via environmental routes, and there are also concerns about BSE infection remaining in the environment after carcass burial or waste 3disposal. In two demonstration experiments we are determining survival and migration of TSE infectivity when buried for up to five years, as an uncontained point source or within bovine heads. Firstly boluses of TSE infected mouse brain were buried in lysimeters containing either sandy or clay soil. Migration from the boluses is being assessed from soil cores taken over time. With the exception of a very small amount of infectivity found 25 cm from the bolus in sandy soil after 12 months, no other infectivity has been detected up to three years. Secondly, ten bovine heads were spiked with TSE infected mouse brain and buried in the two soil types. Pairs of heads have been exhumed annually and assessed for infectivity within and around them. After one year and after two years, infectivity was detected in most intracranial samples and in some of the soil samples taken from immediately surrounding the heads. The infectivity assays for the samples in and around the heads exhumed at years three and four are underway. These data show that TSE infectivity can survive burial for long periods but migrates slowly. Risk assessments should take into account the likely long survival rate when infected material has been buried.

The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from DEFRA.


Degradation of Pathogenic Prion Protein and Prion Infectivity by Lichens

Christopher J. Johnson,1 James P. Bennett,1 Steven M. Biro,1,2 Cynthia M. Rodriguez,1,2 Richard A. Bessen3 and Tonie E. Rocke1

1USGS National Wildlife Health Center; 2Department of Bacteriology; University of Wisconsin, Madison; 3Department of Veterinary Molecular Biology; Montana State University; Bozeman, MT USA

Key words: prion, lichen, bioassay, protease, degradation

Few biological systems have been identified that degrade the transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE)-associated form of the prion protein (PrPTSE) and TSE infectivity. Stability of the TSE agent allows scrapie and chronic wasting disease agents to persist in the environment and cause disease for years. Naturally-occurring or engineered processes that reduce infectivity in the environment could aid in limiting environmental TSE transmission. We have previously identified that species of at least three lichens, unusual, symbiotic organisms formed from a fungus and photosynthetic partner, contain a serine protease capable of degrading PrPTSE under gentle conditions. We tested the hypothesis that lichen extracts from these three species reduce TSE infectivity by treating infected brain homogenate with extracts and examining infectivity in mice. We found lichen extracts diminished TSE infectious titer by factors of 100 to 1,000 and that reductions in infectivity were not well-correlated with the extent of PrPTSE degradation observed by immunoblotting. For example, treatment of brain homogenate with Cladonia rangiferina extract caused <100-fold reduction in PrP immunoreactivity but ~1,000-fold decrease in infectivity, suggesting that some PrPTSE remaining after extract treatment was rendered uninfectious or that the lichen protease favors more infectious forms of PrPTSE. Our data also indicate that lichen species closely related to those with prion-degrading protease activity do not necessarily degrade PrPTSE. Characterization of the lichen species-specificity of PrPTSE degradation within the genera Cladonia and Usnea and comparison with known lichen phylogeny has yielded clusters of species on which to focus searches for anti-prion agents.


infectivity surviving ashing to 600*C is (in my opinion) degradable but infective. based on Bown & Gajdusek, (1991), landfill and burial may be assumed to have a reduction factor of 98% (i.e. a factor of 50) over 3 years. CJD-infected brain-tissue remained infectious after storing at room-temperature for 22 months (Tateishi et al, 1988). Scrapie agent is known to remain viable after at least 30 months of desiccation (Wilson et al, 1950). and pastures that had been grazed by scrapie-infected sheep still appeared to be contaminated with scrapie agent three years after they were last occupied by sheep (Palsson, 1979).




i suppose my question would be, would any Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE prion aka mad cow type disease agent survive the production of any said product ??? and then the question of raising one of Gods living, breathing, animals, as a material to build with, as opposed as a gift from God as a source of food, and the ethical or moral aspect of it all, there from...oh hell, never mind, that went out the window a long time ago when factory farming came about. it's all about money now, so heck with it, build a dashboard for your car with prions in it, put a damn boom box in it, and hope for the best, who cares anymore $$$ i am sure that is what God intended...NOT!

stupid is, as stupid does, and some times you just can't fix stupid. ...


'soyent green'.

see ;

Soylent Green is a 1973 dystopian science fiction movie depicting a future in which overpopulation lead to depleted resources, which in turn leads to widespread unemployment and poverty. Real fruit, vegetables, and meat are rare, commodities are expensive, and much of the population survives on processed food rations, including "soylent green" wafers.

The film overlays the science fiction and police procedural genres as it depicts the efforts of New York City police detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) and elderly police researcher Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson) to investigate the brutal murder of a wealthy businessman named William R. Simonson (Joseph Cotten). Thorn and Roth uncover clues which suggest that it is more than simply a bungled burglary.


After Roth dies, Thorn sneaks into the basement of the government-assisted suicide facility, where he sees corpses being loaded onto waste disposal trucks. He secretly hitches a ride on one of the trucks, which is driven to a heavily guarded waste disposal plant. Once inside the plant, Thorn sees how the corpses are processed into Soylent Green wafers. After Thorn escapes from the plant and heads for the supreme exchange with the information, he is ambushed by Fielding and several other gunmen. In the shootout, Thorn kills some of the gunmen, but is himself wounded. He retreats into a cathedral filled with homeless people. After a desperate fight, Thorn stabs and kills Fielding.

When police backup arrives, the seriously wounded and nearly hysterical Thorn confides to Hatcher the horrible secret behind Soylent Green and urges him to spread the word: "Soylent Green is people! We've got to stop them somehow!"


Monday, May 30, 2011

CEPs for gelatin and impact of the revised EU Note for Guidance on the TSE risk EMEA/410/01 Rev.3) will come into force in July 2011


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Supreme Court Protects Vaccine Manufacturers, Not Injured Children there from Bruesewitz vs Wyeth


Sunday, August 21, 2011

The British disease, or a disease gone global, The TSE Prion Disease


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Transmissibility of BSE-L and Cattle-Adapted TME Prion Strain to Cynomolgus Macaque

"BSE-L in North America may have existed for decades"


RE - "BSE-L in North America may have existed for decades" YA THINK ???

Over the next 8-10 weeks, approximately 40% of all the adult mink on the farm died from TME.


The rancher was a ''dead stock'' feeder using mostly (>95%) downer or dead dairy cattle...



No comments:

Post a Comment