Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Prion 2013 update

Bovine prion protein residues 23-230
Lopez-Garcia, F., Zahn, R., Riek, R., Wuthrich, K. & RCSB

It has been a wonderful first couple of days in Banff, Canada. BMG LABTECH has been happy to serve as a sponsor for a conference where such fascinating data has been presented and lively debate have taken place.  We have been particularly pleased to meet with so many FLUOstar Omega users from around the world who are currently performing the RTQuIC assay as well as many more that we hope are future users of BMGLABTECH microplate readers.

With all the excellent posters and talks it is difficult to say something about each but one of the highlights was Stefanie Czub’s presentation entitled: ‘BSE: what else is new’. Stefanie presented some excellent video documentation of the degenerative effects of atypical forms of BSE that she is investigating at the University of Calgary. This launched a great discussion about when these atypical forms are present and the role of cattle breed in the observed effects.

Another extremely interesting presentation was given by Joel Watts a post-doctoral fellow in Stanley Prussiner's lab at UCSF. Most species have what is referred to as a species barrier; the inability to be affected by most of the disease causing prions (PrPsc) from a different species. One of the few known exceptions to this is the bank vole which can develop disease when challenged by most species PrPsc. They mutated mouse PrPsc to match that of bank vole PrPsc. Despite this involving only changing 8 amino acids this was sufficient to provide susceptibility to PrPsc from all species tested.

BMG LABTECH is very much looking forward to the remainder of the conference especially the presentation by Stanley Prussiner, Nobel laureate. Thank you all for such a great conference!

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