A Study on Mad Cow Disease Research Paper

A Study on Mad Cow Disease
A review of the origins and symptoms of mad cow disease as well as its prevention.
# 154110 | 979 words | 4 sources | 2006 | US
Published on Jan 26, 2015

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper considers the origins, symptoms, and treatments of mad cow disease or BSE. It examines BSE's origins in prions, as well as how FDA regulations have responded to the threat of BSE-contamination.

I. Introduction
II. BSE's Origins
a. Research into prions
b. Transmission from scrapies
III. BSE/CJD's Symptoms and Treatment
IV. Laws and Regulations Created in Response to BSE
V. Conclusion

From the Paper:

"Although scientists have known about bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE since the mid-1980s, "mad cow disease" did not become a household word until the late-1990s, when an outbreak of BSE in Great Britain was discovered. Since that date, 157 people have died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), the name for the degenerative disease caused by BSE transmitted to humans, and these deaths have resulted in changes to how governments, agriculture, and businesses interact, how the public perceives beef, and regulations regarding livestock in the United States and abroad. On the scientific front, researchers have identified the source of BSE as a prion, an infectious agent even simpler in structure than a virus. Despite this advance, scientists are unsure of the exact mechanism by which these prions infect humans, and are unable to cure or treat CJD (Balter, 1999). Recent changes to FDA regulations have attempted to address mammalian-to-bovine transmission of the disease in the hopes of keeping the prions from entering the human food chain, but much remains to be done to ensure an uncontaminated food supply.
"According to Fisher (1998), the first case of BSE was discovered in Great Britain in 1986; given BSE's incubation period of 4-5 years, it is likely that the disease emerged as early as the late-1970s (p. 217). Within two years of BSE's discovery, British agricultural agencies had studied the disease enough to create diagnostics for the disease and to identify its likely origins as scrapie (Fisher, 1998). These scientists speculated that BSE arose when cattle were fed the bones and meat of sheep infected with scrapie, a prion-based disease similar to BSE. Although animal-to-animal disease transmission is fairly common, it was BSE's ability to cross the species barrier and infect humans that gained it so much attention and notoriety; as Fisher writes, "If BSE had proved a disease strictly confined to cattle then it would not have gained the status of a plague" (p. 218)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • References
  • Balter, M. (1999, October 22). Prions: A lone killer or a vital accomplice? Science, 286(5440),
  • 660-662.
  • Balter, M. (2000, September 1). Tracking the human fallout from `mad cow disease.' Science,
  • 289(5484), 1452-1454.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

A Study on Mad Cow Disease (2015, January 26) Retrieved March 04, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/research-paper/a-study-on-mad-cow-disease-154110/

MLA Format

"A Study on Mad Cow Disease" 26 January 2015. Web. 04 March. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/research-paper/a-study-on-mad-cow-disease-154110/>