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

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

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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.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Eve Seguin is a Political Scientist whose work on the political function of science lies at the crossroads of political theory, science studies and discourse analysis.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : prions? 1
1 The early history of the protein-only hypothesis : scientific change and multidisciplinary research 4
2 Styles of scientific practice and the prion controversy 38
3 Paradigm change? : explaining the nature of the TSE agent in Germany 73
4 Visualizing prions : graphic representations and the biography of prions 99
5 Prion research and the public sphere in France 135
6 The UK BSE crisis and the prion discursive chain in scientific literature 161
Conclusion : the prion case 186
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