Introduction: Prions?

Part of the Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History book series (STMMH)


On 20 March 1996, the Secretary of State for Health, Stephen Dorrell, announced in the British Parliament that the ten cases of a new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) discovered in the UK had probably been caused by the consumption of beef infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This announcement marked a radical shift in the discourse of the government and provoked one of the most notable public health crises that Europe had faced in the twentieth century. For weeks and months, what now appeared as the transmission of BSE to humans became a major concern of the media, featuring on broadcast programmes and on the front page of all newspapers.


Front Page Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Radical Shift Broadcast Programme Prion Hypothesis 
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© Eve Seguin 2004

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