Test for BSE will save healthy cattle

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A test has been developed for detecting BSE and its human equivalent before death occurs. The test, carried out on a sample of spinal fluid, should prevent the slaughter of healthy cattle.

The test was created by researchers at the US National Institutes of Health and California Institute of Technology. However, the test reveals the disease only about the time symptoms start to appear, but not during the long dormant stage. A report on the discovery is published in today's New England Journal of Medicine.