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An ounce of prevention?

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SASH

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Researcher identifies substances that could prevent BSE


Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 15:27 JST
TOKYO — A Japanese scientist said Thursday she has identified two substances that prevent the production of an abnormal protein believed to cause mad cow disease and its human variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The finding by Naoko Iwanami, a researcher at the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, is expected to be applied in developing preventive medicine for the brain-destroying disease.

The substances — sodium copper chlorophyllin and sodium iron chlorophyllin — are chemical compounds that are close in composition to chlorophyll and are considered safe for consumption. Mad cow disease is caused when a prion protein with an abnormal structure gets attached to a normal prion in the brain, turns into an abnormal prion and multiplies. The substances prevent the abnormal prion from attaching to the normal one. (Kyodo News)
 
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