Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Closing In On Goat Scrapie

Date:
April 26, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Goats are tough, spirited animals, but they're no match for scrapie, a form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. Now, with a "helping hand" from science, the animals' plight could take a turn for the better.

ARS geneticist Stephen White studies goats with a version of the prion gene that might confer resistance to scrapie.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

Goats are tough, spirited animals, but they're no match for scrapie, a form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. Now, with a "helping hand" from science, the animals' plight could take a turn for the better.

Toward that end, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their collaborators have developed a live-animal test to detect scrapie in goats. Called the rectal mucosa biopsy test (RMBT) or rectal biopsy, the new method involves snipping a tiny piece of lymphoid tissue from the lining of an afflicted animal's rectum. A dab of local anesthetic eases the animal's discomfort, notes microbiologist Katherine O'Rourke with the ARS Animal Diseases Research Unit in Pullman, Wash.

Lymphoid tissue is used because it collects malformed proteins called prions, which are thought to cause scrapie, adds O'Rourke. She's a member of a scrapie research team that includes Washington State University, Colorado State University, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the National Park Service and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Advantages of using the rectal biopsy test method include speed, easier methodology and its generation of a high number of repeat samples from individual animals.

On a related front, ARS Pullman geneticist Stephen White is leading studies to characterize the prion protein gene of goats and identify differences between individual animals and breeds harboring the gene. His team has so far examined the sequences and distribution of alleles—alternative forms of genes—from 446 goats representing 10 breeds, including Alpine, Angora, Boer and Nubian.

The ARS Pullman lab also is collaborating with APHIS to formulate a strategy aimed at helping the U.S. goat industry eliminate scrapie from its herd, which numbers four million head. Hardships imposed by scrapie on America's goat and sheep producers include the physical loss of animals, costs of disposal of carcasses and offal, trade restrictions and diminished domestic and international markets for breeding stock, semen and embryos.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Closing In On Goat Scrapie." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419201836.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, April 26). Closing In On Goat Scrapie. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419201836.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Closing In On Goat Scrapie." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419201836.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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