Infectious Processes: Knowledge, Discourse, and the Politics by Eve Seguin

By Eve Seguin

The BSE or "mad cow sickness" quandary is seemed by means of many for instance of the failure of officers and politicians to address danger events. but, BSE is additionally characterised by way of a special trait, that's, the infectious agent that motives it. to this point, not anyone has paid recognition to the truth that BSE and different transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are allegedly brought on by a singular agent--a prion--distinct from all different recognized infectious brokers comparable to micro organism and viruses. The prion speculation was once brought by means of the yankee scientist Stanley Prusiner in 1982. It instantly created an argument between scientists and continues to be rejected via a few. but, regardless of this loss of consensus within the clinical neighborhood, Prusiner used to be presented the Nobel Prize for medication in 1997. This booklet analyzes the advent, reception, improvement and outcomes of the prion speculation. It exhibits that BSE is a different case not just in advantage of its political mismanagement but additionally simply because its infectious agent has created a sort of revolution in biology.

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

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S. and R. Penrose (1957) ‘A Self-reproducing Analogue’, Nature 179: 1183. Prusiner, S. B. (1982) ‘Novel Proteinaceous Infectious Particles Cause Scrapie’, Science 216: 136–44. Prusiner, S. B. (1984) ‘Prions’, Scientific American 251: 48–57. Prusiner, S. B. (1991) ‘Molecular-Biology of Prion Diseases’, Science 252: 1515–22. Prusiner, S. B. (1995) ‘The Prion Diseases’, Scientific American 272: 30–7. Prusiner, S. B. (1999) ‘Development of the Prion Concept’, in S. B. ) Prion Biology and Diseases. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press: 67–112.

For example, Laurent has addressed the issue of the thermodynamic requirements allowing conformational change of the prion protein to occur, concluding that ‘Thirty years later, our microscopic and mechanistic thermodynamical considerations agree with Griffith’s original proposal’ (Laurent, 1997: 6). 15. Comparing to Kim’s (Chapter 2 this volume) distinction between generalists and experts, it is important to note that Prusiner had gained expertise in several different fields. Thus, his expertise should not be seen as narrow in scope as such.

Alper, T. et al. (1966) ‘The Exceptionally Small Size of the Scrapie Agent’, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 22: 278–84. Alper, T. et al. ’, Nature 214: 764–6. Alper, T. et al. (1978) ‘The Scrapie Agent: Evidence against its Dependence for Replication on Intrinsic Nucleic Acid’, Journal of General Virology 41: 503–16. Andersen, H. (1996) ‘Categorization, Anomalies, and the Discovery of Nuclear Fission’, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 27: 463–92. Baltimore, D.

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