Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers To Study Fate Of Prions In Wastewater

Date:
May 27, 2004
Source:
University Of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
With funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a group of UW-Madison researchers will investigate what happens if infectious prion proteins - considered the cause of chronic wasting disease and mad cow disease - enter wastewater treatment plants.

With funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a group of UW-Madison researchers will investigate what happens if infectious prion proteins - considered the cause of chronic wasting disease and mad cow disease - enter wastewater treatment plants.

Joining UW-Madison scientists Judd Aiken and Joel Pedersen currently investigating the fate of prion proteins in soil and landfills, Katherine (Trina) McMahon and Craig Benson, both faculty members in civil and environmental engineering, will examine the ability of these infectious proteins to withstand the processes used to treat wastewater.

At most treatment plants, microorganisms decompose biodegradable material in the sewage and, in theory, should also disintegrate infectious proteins, says McMahon. But as she points out, prion proteins generally are very resistant to degradation.

"Prion proteins can be viewed as an environmental contaminant," says McMahon, adding that it currently is not known how long these proteins can remain intact and infectious in the environment.

"Prions have not been detected in wastewater entering treatment plants, but we can imagine several scenarios in which we may need to be concerned about the presence of prions in wastewater," she says.

During this one-year project, which is supported with a grant of nearly $100,000, McMahon and her co-investigators will focus on several questions, including what percentage of these proteins would be degraded during treatment and what percentage would be released back into the environment in treated water. If prions are released, the researchers will determine if the proteins remain infectious.

McMahon says answers to these questions will be of particular interest to the engineers of treatment plants receiving water from slaughterhouses or rendering facilities, as well as septic tank owners who dress deer and potentially wash infected tissue down the drain.

"The EPA," adds McMahon, "would like to know what the fate of prions would be in wastewater treatment plants to determine if they need to ensure that prions are excluded from waste streams entering these facilities."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Wisconsin-Madison. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Wisconsin-Madison. "Researchers To Study Fate Of Prions In Wastewater." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040526064629.htm>.
University Of Wisconsin-Madison. (2004, May 27). Researchers To Study Fate Of Prions In Wastewater. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040526064629.htm
University Of Wisconsin-Madison. "Researchers To Study Fate Of Prions In Wastewater." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040526064629.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins