spongiform encephalopathy in young humans

MATTHEW FRANCIS WETTLAUFER mattw at sfsu.edu
Thu Nov 23 13:27:37 EST 1995


: But the way you said it, might get some non-scientific people to assume
: that scientists believe in the BSE / CJD connection. Coming from Germany
: I know what this can lead to in the general public. Therefore I might 
: have been requesting too much precision. 

I think you were asking for the precision that most people would expect 
in scientific discourse, and which I failed to give in my very first 
entry to this group.

: > As far as I can see you haven't made any
: > serious argument in response to my comments about a possible connection
: > between BSE and the two recent cases of CJD in the U.K.  Most scientists
: > familiar with prion etiology would not find issue with the comments I
: > made.

: Indeed, I am not much.

I imagine you are more familiar than I on this subject and my comment was 
little more than a cheap shot..

: Not bizarre, but premature. That all I wanted to say. Probably I overshot
: with the scrapie stuff quite far.

Probably not--your request for caution was appropriate.

: As far as I understood, crossing the species barrier (generally) required
: higher doses. But it is not the way, that by crossing one species barrier,
: the next will be crossed more easier. Mouse PrP<sc> can cause hamster PrP<sc>,
: but the latter have it as difficult to go back to mouse as it was before
: to get transmission to the hamster. (Please correct if wrong. This is just
: a statement, not a try to blame again).

Again, you are correct--prions do not make species leaps in every 
case--only in some, not others.  The suggestion that prions are more 
likely to make further species leaps after making one was not mine, it 
was someone else's.  I am not familiar that information--which isn't to 
say it's not true, I'm just not familiar with it.


: It concerns me, but I do not think that this is a proof. I am glad the
: Germans (and probably other contries) stopped to import UK cattle.

I'm glad too!  And my comment that you aren't concerned again, was a 
cheap shot.

: Up to now, the discussion will apparently not lead anywhere. As was
: pointed out before, any information on these two cases might give some more
: reasonable starting point and might lead to some discussion based on
: stronger data.

I agree--I wrote to Dr. Stanley Prusiner at UCSF asking him some 
questions regarding the two CJD cases in London, and I am awaiting his 
response.  He may in fact be too busy to reply But if he does I will post 
any information he gives me.

Again, my apologies for that previous posting.  I look forward to 
continuation of this discussion as more information becomes available 
and I wish you the best.

Matt



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