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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 E. Seguin, John V. Pickstone
 

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ISBN-10: 1403932239

ISBN-13: 9781403932235

Pub. Date: 10/15/2004

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK

In recent years a number of scholars have analyzed the management of BSE, also known as 'mad cow disease'. The BSE crisis is regarded by many as an example of the failure of officials and politicians to handle risk situations. Yet, BSE is also characterized by a unique trait, that is, the infectious agent that causes it. Thus far, no one has paid attention to the fact

Overview

In recent years a number of scholars have analyzed the management of BSE, also known as 'mad cow disease'. The BSE crisis is regarded by many as an example of the failure of officials and politicians to handle risk situations. Yet, BSE is also characterized by a unique trait, that is, the infectious agent that causes it. Thus far, no one has paid attention to the fact that BSE and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathy's (TSEs) are allegedly caused by a novel agent - a prion - distinct from all other known infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses. The prion hypothesis was introduced by the American scientist Stanley Prusiner in 1982. It immediately created a controversy among scientists and is still rejected by some. Yet, despite this lack of consensus in the scientific community, Prusiner was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1997. This book analyzes the introduction, reception, development and consequences of the prion hypothesis. It shows that BSE is a unique case not only in virtue of its political mismanagement but also because its infectious agent has created a form of revolution in biology.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403932235
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date:
10/15/2004
Series:
Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History Series
Edition description:
2004
Pages:
289
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.02(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Prions?; E.Seguin PART I: KNOWLEDGE The Early History of the Protein-Only Hypothesis. Scientific Change and Multidisciplinary Research; M.J.Poulsen & H.Andersen Styles of Scientific Practice and the Prion Controversy; K.Kim Paradigm Change? Explaining the Nature of the TSE Agent in Germany; K.Dressel PART II: DISCOURSE Visualizing Prions, Graphic Representations and the Biography of Prions; J.Segal & E.Francoeur PART III: POLITICS Prion Research and the Public Sphere in France; B.Chamak The UK BSE Crisis and the Prion Discursive Chain in Scientific Literature; E.Seguin Conclusion: The Prion Case; E.Seguin

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