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      Demographic risk factors for classical and atypical scrapie in Great Britain

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          Abstract

          Following the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis, the European Union has introduced policies for eradicating transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), including scrapie, from large ruminants. However, recent European Union surveillance has identified a novel prion disease, ‘atypical’ scrapie, substantially different from classical scrapie. It is unknown whether atypical scrapie is naturally transmissible or zoonotic, like BSE. Furthermore, cases have occurred in scrapie-resistant genotypes that are targets for selection in legislated selective breeding programmes. Here, the first epidemiological study of British cases of atypical scrapie is described, focusing on the demographics and trading patterns of farms and using databases of recorded livestock movements. Triplet comparisons found that farms with atypical scrapie stock more sheep than those of the general, non-affected population. They also move larger numbers of animals than control farms, but similar numbers to farms reporting classical scrapie. Whilst there is weak evidence of association through sheep trading of farms reporting classical scrapie, atypical scrapie shows no such evidence, being well-distributed across regions of Great Britain and through the sheep-trading network. Thus, although cases are few in number so far, our study suggests that, should natural transmission of atypical scrapie be occurring at all, it is doing so slowly.

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          Most cited references38

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          Rapid planetesimal formation in turbulent circumstellar discs

          The initial stages of planet formation in circumstellar gas discs proceed via dust grains that collide and build up larger and larger bodies (Safronov 1969). How this process continues from metre-sized boulders to kilometre-scale planetesimals is a major unsolved problem (Dominik et al. 2007): boulders stick together poorly (Benz 2000), and spiral into the protostar in a few hundred orbits due to a head wind from the slower rotating gas (Weidenschilling 1977). Gravitational collapse of the solid component has been suggested to overcome this barrier (Safronov 1969, Goldreich & Ward 1973, Youdin & Shu 2002). Even low levels of turbulence, however, inhibit sedimentation of solids to a sufficiently dense midplane layer (Weidenschilling & Cuzzi 1993, Dominik et al. 2007), but turbulence must be present to explain observed gas accretion in protostellar discs (Hartmann 1998). Here we report the discovery of efficient gravitational collapse of boulders in locally overdense regions in the midplane. The boulders concentrate initially in transient high pressures in the turbulent gas (Johansen, Klahr, & Henning 2006), and these concentrations are augmented a further order of magnitude by a streaming instability (Youdin & Goodman 2005, Johansen, Henning, & Klahr 2006, Johansen & Youdin 2007) driven by the relative flow of gas and solids. We find that gravitationally bound clusters form with masses comparable to dwarf planets and containing a distribution of boulder sizes. Gravitational collapse happens much faster than radial drift, offering a possible path to planetesimal formation in accreting circumstellar discs.
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            Chronic wasting disease.

            Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a unique transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), white-tailed deer (O. virginianus), and Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni). The natural history of CWD is incompletely understood, but it differs from scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by virtue of its occurrence in nondomestic and free-ranging species. CWD has many features in common with scrapie, including early widespread distribution of disease-associated prion protein (PrP(d)) in lymphoid tissues, with later involvement of central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral tissues. This distribution likely contributes to apparent efficiency of horizontal transmission and, in this, is similar to scrapie and differs from BSE. Clinical features and lesions of CWD are qualitatively similar to the other animal TSEs. Microscopically, marked spongiform lesions occur in the central nervous system (CNS) after a prolonged incubation period and variable course of clinical disease. During incubation, PrP(d) can be identified in tissues by antibody-based detection systems. Although CWD can be transmitted by intracerebral inoculation to cattle, sheep, and goats, ongoing studies have not demonstrated that domestic livestock are susceptible via oral exposure, the presumed natural route of exposure to TSEs. Surveillance efforts for CWD in captive and free-ranging cervids will continue in concert with similar activities for scrapie and BSE. Eradication of CWD in farmed cervids is the goal of state, federal, and industry programs, but eradication of CWD from free-ranging populations of cervids is unlikely with currently available management techniques.
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              Acceleration of a Diels-Alder reaction by a self-assembled molecular capsule.

              The interior of cage-like molecules can be considered to provide a new phase of matter, in which it becomes possible to stabilize reactive intermediates and to observe new forms of stereoisomerism. Cage-like molecular complexes that self-assemble through weak intermolecular forces are dynamic species, encapsulating guest molecules reversibly. They can persist over timescales ranging from microseconds to hours, long enough for chemical processes to take place within them. Here we report the acceleration of a Diels-Alder reaction by encapsulation of the reactants in a self-assembling molecular capsule. Although product inhibition (lack of dissociation) prevents the system from showing true catalytic behaviour, there is clear evidence for a rate increase of over two orders of magnitude owing to the effective enhancement of concentration inside the capsule.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Gen Virol
                vir
                The Journal of General Virology
                Society for General Microbiology
                0022-1317
                1465-2099
                December 2007
                December 2007
                : 88
                : Pt 12
                : 3486-3492
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
                [2 ]Veterinary Laboratories Agency, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
                [3 ]School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Rowland R. Kao: r.kao@ 123456vet.gla.ac.uk

                Present address: Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK.

                Present address: Department of Mathematics, Mantell Building, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RF, UK.

                § Present address: Institute of Comparative Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK.

                Article
                3486
                10.1099/vir.0.83225-0
                2884981
                18024920
                4b94d0b3-8307-463f-acf8-8a11fa8fafe5
                Copyright © 2007, SGM

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 8 June 2007
                : 9 August 2007
                Categories
                Other Agents

                Microbiology & Virology
                Microbiology & Virology

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