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THE discovery over 25 years ago of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), popularly known as ‘mad cow disease’, brought considerable attention to prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders affecting people and animals. Exceptionally high concern arose 10 years later, following the first description of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), a new TSE resulting from human exposure to the BSE agent (Aguzzi …
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