Posted tagged ‘Research’

Urine test for mad cow means early detection

May 4, 2009


At the present time, the only way to confirm whether cattle are suffering from mad cow disease is to test them after they are slaughtered.

However, the research of Dr. David Knox and his colleagues at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg may soon lead to a simple urine test for mad cow disease.

Dr. Knox presented his findings at the recent prion conference in Edmonton which was hosted by PrioNet Canada and the Alberta Prion Research Institute.

As Dr. Knox explains, an examination of cattle urine would reveal biomarkers that indicate whether the cattle are infected, long before clinical symptoms appear.

“We found one marker, at least in our small test set, that is able to discriminate with 100 percent accuracy between control and infected samples. And that’s a protein called clusterin. However, it requires further validation. Does it work in all BSE infected cattle is one question. And the other question is, do you see increased amounts in response to other types of infection as well?”

Mad cow disease has a long incubation period. The good news is that Dr. Knox has detected the biomarker in urine as early as eight months after infection—long before clinical symptoms appear in cattle. √                                                            ~ Cheryl Croucher

 Cheryl Croucher’s interviews on prion research were funded by a grant from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.


Online research easier with SemantiFind

November 20, 2008

An underlying problem with researching online is actually finding useful websites. Often researchers have to sift through page after page of Google results before they can even find one article that comes close to what they are looking for. Even the term “Google Search” brings up 122,000,000 results. How is that possible?


It’s possible because search engines use algorithms to search for key words rather than the meaning of those keywords. So if a website has the words ‘Google’ or ‘Search’ within it, the search engine produces that web page as a result, even if it has absolutely no significance to you.


SemantiFind, eliminates that ambiguity. SemantiFind is a plug-in that sits on top of Google and refines and personalizes your searching experience. By marking the pages you find useful, SemantiFind begins to understand your preferences and will, with time, produce meaningful websites.


In addition, SemantiFind eliminates the categories, sub-categories, and sub-sub-categories of bookmarks. With SemantiFind you are able to mark a web site and return to it time and again with ease. And we all know that while the theory of bookmarks is genius, the practicality of its application is leaves something to be desired.


So what are you waiting for? Learn how to operate SemantiFind in 90 seconds.