Thursday, January 13, 2011

Aerosolized prions... are you scared now?

Not quite viruses... but related and very cool & frightening.

A new study published today in PLoS Pathogens suggests that aerosolized prions are 100% lethal in mice. Although the usual route of transmission of prions is not airborne, the researchers aerosolized the prions and experimented on mice using variables including exposure time and dosage. They found that the amount of time mice were exposed had more impact on mortality than the dosage.

This study instigates rethinking safety protocol in doing prion laboratory research, in slaughterhouses, as well as in agents of bioterrorism. We also should think about how humans could potentially change the efficiency of transmissibility by altering agents of disease.


1 comment:

  1. This terrifies me just as much as sporadic CJD does. -Autumn