In this February 15th story over at The Organic Prepper that Steve Quayle had linked to on his website last Friday they asked if 'zombie deer' can kill human beings while answering their own question: "Research suggests it already has." Reporting that 'chronic wasting disease' (CWD), the illness that is now killing deer across 24 US states and Canada, had already infected and killed quite a few people who had eaten infected deer meat, I wasn't fully prepared to learn what I then found out in my research on CWD.
For those unaware, ANP is a completely independent website and Susan Duclos and I and our awesome contributors write stories about whatever we want to, not what we are dictated to write like the mockingbird mainstream media, so I decided to delve into this 'zombie deer' story that is now receiving so much attention from the mainstream media. And with each story we do on ANP quite literally akin to a research project, my research on CWD opened some unwanted doors and even led me in the direction of a mysterious 2004 car accident that killed both of the world's top CWD researchers as we'll look at more below.
Infectious, deformed proteins called prions, known to cause chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer, can be taken up by plants such as alfalfa, corn, and tomatoes, according to new research from the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) in Madison.
The NWHC’s prion research further demonstrates that stems and leaves from tainted plants are infectious when injected into laboratory mice. Christopher Johnson, the research biologist who conducted the study, writes in the abstract: “Our results suggest that prions are taken up by plants and that contaminated plants may represent a previously unrecognized risk of human, domestic species, and wildlife exposure to CWD.”
One of a class of neurological, prion-caused diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, CWD affects deer by causing progressive loss of body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, and death. Other prion-caused diseases include scrapie in sheep and goats, bovine spongiform encephalopathy—or mad cow disease—in cattle, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.
While it is thought that CWD is spread through the saliva and feces of deer infected with the fatal brain disease, according to NWHC researchers and other experts these new findings are significant because they reveal a previously unknown potential route of exposure.
As their story mentioned, CWD is very similar to mad cow disease, caused by protein prions in the brain that fold over and as this April of 2018 story over at Scientific American reported, prions are forever and should be inducted into the 'hard to kill' hall of fame for their resilience to anything that science has to offer to try to kill them, including antibiotics and extremely high temperatures.
As their story had also mentioned, once infected prions are shed into the environment, they remain there quite literally forever. Always fatal with no known cure (though as we'll see further below, some cannibals in New Guinea have become resistant to it!), the following paragraphs from this Daily Mail story about CWD are alarming.
This week, Michael Osterhold, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, issued a warning on possible effects on humans to state lawmakers.
'It is probable that human cases of chronic wasting disease associated with consumption with contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead,' Osterhold said.
'It’s possible the number of human cases will be substantial, and will not be isolated events'.
'When asked the chances of humans becoming infected with CWD, Osterhold compared it to a 'throw at the genetic roulette table.'
‘Once CWD is established in an area, the risk can remain for a long time in the environment. The affected areas are likely to continue to expand.’
A new study has revealed one short exposure to sprayed prions can be 100 percent lethal in mice. While the discovery doesn’t present any foreseeable public health threat, it comes as a surprise to scientists who study prion-based diseases and calls existing safety rules for laboratories and slaughterhouses into question.
"Common knowledge is that prions aren't airborne, and can't cause infection that way," said neuropathologist Adriano Aguzzi of University Hospital Zurich, co-author of a study appearing today in PLoS Pathogens. "We were totally surprised and also a bit frightened at how efficient [airborne infections] were."
Most infectious diseases are spread by bacteria or viruses, which use genes to copy themselves. But prions are a third form of disease discovered in 1982, and they're made only of misfolded proteins. The molecules resemble regular proteins found in the brain cells and other nervous tissues, but their abnormal shape converts healthy proteins into long fibrils that ultimately kill cells.
Like a chain reaction, fibrils create more prions until the host dies from destroyed brain and nervous tissue. All prion infections are 100 percent fatal, and symptoms appear suddenly months or years after infection.
"Prions are like an enemy within, the alien in some B-movie that transforms people to an evil version," said prion biologist Edward Hoover of Colorado State University, who was not involved in the study. "The immune system doesn't see them coming."
And as we learn in this June of 2018 story over at Gizmodo, for the first time in known history, synthetic, brain-destroying prions have been created in a laboratory. While this story over at Neuroscience News reported synthetic prions will help scientists understand the precise mechanisms by which prions cause illnesses like Mad Cow or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, we find it very concerning when something so deadly is recreated in a lab, even if only allegedly for scientific study.
In fact, as we see from Gizmodo, the synthetic prions created in a lab worked much more quickly to kill the mice that were injected with them, with the rodents showing neurological disfunction within 224 to 459 days while generally, mad cow disease incubates for up to 30 years inside a human brain before inflicting serious damage. Were they weaponized to kill much faster? From Gizmodo.:
Simply put, prions are a specific type of misfolded protein. While that may sound harmless, this misfolding triggers a cascade of despair in which prions latch on to healthy proteins nearby, causing the formation of microscopic holes in brain tissue. The ensuing domino effect turns portions of the brain into a sponge-like substance, leading to steady and irreversible deterioration.
In humans, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease—the most common prion-based disorder—is known to cause dementia, memory loss, impaired motor skills, loss of vision, and eventually death. It tends to peak among adults between the ages of 60 to 65, which is why it’s often confused for Alzheimer’s disease. Around 90 percent of human prion diseases seem to arise spontaneously; 10 percent are the result of genetics, and less than one percent are the result of eating the remains of an infected animal. Disturbingly, prions in meat are not destroyed through conventional cooking methods. Cases of transmissible prion diseases are rare, but their long incubation periods (prion disease can hide in the brain for 30 years before it starts to inflict serious damage) and high resistance to treatment are cause for serious concern, “posing unprecedented and challenging problems to disease control and public health,” as the researchers write in their study.
The mechanics behind human prion misfolding are poorly understood, but this latest advance takes us a significant step closer to the answer. Previously, scientists had created synthetic prions specific to rodents, but these prions, while affecting mice and hamsters, were not infectious to humans. For the new study, Safar’s team took a genetically engineered human prion protein, and with some coaxing, managed to get E. coli bacteria to produce a highly destructive synthetic, or recombinant, human prion (previous studies showed that infectious rodent prions could be cultivated in bacteria). A critical aspect of the experiment was the contribution of a compound known as Ganglioside GMI—a cell molecule that regulates cell-to-cell communication. In this case, Ganglioside GMI was responsible for triggering infectious replication and transmission.
In tests, the resulting synthetic human prions were shown to be infectious to transgenic mice, which were “humanized,” or genetically altered to express a particular human protein. In two separate experiments, the recombinant human prion caused serious neurological dysfunction in infected mice after an average of 459 and 224 days. “The neuropathology, replication potency, and biophysical profiling suggest that a novel, particularly neurotoxic human prion strain was created,” declare the authors in the study. But to be fair, the effect of that this artificial prion might have on humans is unknown.
With chronic wasting disease called 'a time bomb for agriculture' just waiting to explode, this January of 2018 story over at Drovers reported “Everyone at least needs to wake up to the potential of CWD to move in crops because it would shake up agriculture as we know it” according to David Clausen, a retired veterinarian and farmer.
Disgustingly, this September of 2015 story over at Wired titled "How Cannibals Might Cure Degenerative Brain Diseases" reported that the Kore tribe in Papua New Guinea ate its dead during a prion epidemic called kuru. Eventually, many of the cannibals developed a resistance to kuru altogether. With mad cow and CWD untreatable and a death sentence for those who've been infected but only cannibalism offering any kind of 'cure', we'll stay away from the venison and the 'cure'.
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