Infectious Processes: Knowledge, Discourse, and the Politics of Prions (Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History Series)

Infectious Processes: Knowledge, Discourse, and the Politics of Prions (Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History Series)

by Eve Seguin
     
 

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In March 1996, the British Secretary of State for Health announced that 'mad cow disease' (BSE) had been transmitted to humans. One striking aspect of this new episode of the BSE crisis was the recurrent appearance of 'prions', thought to be the infectious agents of this disease. The history of prions displays several interesting characteristics. Prions are enigmatic

Overview

In March 1996, the British Secretary of State for Health announced that 'mad cow disease' (BSE) had been transmitted to humans. One striking aspect of this new episode of the BSE crisis was the recurrent appearance of 'prions', thought to be the infectious agents of this disease. The history of prions displays several interesting characteristics. Prions are enigmatic agents usually described as 'infectious proteins', whose pathogenicity is not yet fully understood. If the prion hypothesis, which holds that BSE and similar diseases are caused by such agents, is now widely accepted by the scientific community, many researchers are still disputing it. In the 1980s, Stanley Prusiner, the proponent of the prion hypothesis, was regarded as a heretic. In 1997, however, he won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his discovery of prions. This book sheds light on such paradoxical features and is the first to look at the prion case from a historical and social perspective.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780230569829
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
10/15/2004
Series:
Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

H. ANDERSEN Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
B. CHAMAK Researcher and Writer
K. DRESSEL Scientific Secretary, German TSE Research Platform, University of Munich, Germany
E. FRANCOEUR Lecturer, École de Technologie Supériere de Montréal, Canada
M. J. POULSEN Research Adviser, Health Care Sector, Frederiksborg County, Denmark
K. KIM Research Fellow, Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College, London, UK
J. SEGAL Assistant Professor, Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maitres, Paris, France

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