James Giese

BSE, also called bovine spongiform encephalopathy or “mad cow disease,” is a progressive neurological disorder in cattle that results from infection by an unusual transmissible agent. BSE is one of several known animal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs); others include transmissible mink encephalopathy, scrapie, chronic wasting disease of mule deer and elk, and feline spongiform encephalopathy.

Photomicrograph of vacuoles—microscopic holes in the grey matter—gives the brain of BSE-affected cows a sponge-like appearance when tissue sections are examined in the lab.The name of the disease refers to the fact that as the disease progresses, the infected a…

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