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Vaccines, Prions, Genetic Modification, Mad Cows, and You

Apparently, the issue of pig rendering workers developing a neurological disease isn't supposed to worry the rest of us. The Lancet has reported that there's no infectious agent. The cause is tiny bits of pig brains being breathed in so that they enter the body through the nasal passages, resulting in an autoimmune disorder. So, we're supposed to sit back, heave a big sigh of relief, and stop worrying.

I don't think so. To the contrary, this is the key that ties a host of neurological disorders, prions, and vaccines together into one neat package-with a tie-in to genetically modified organisms.

Workers who have breathed in aerosolized pig brain mist in abattoirs have been developing a nasty neurological disorder with striking similarities to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as mad cow disease), kuru (a disease that struck southern Pacific cannibal islanders), multiple sclerosis, Gulf War syndrome, and macrophagic myofasciitis (MMF), a new neurological disorder known to be associated with the vaccine adjuvant aluminum.

Prions

Prions have been a medical mystery. They're known to cause mad cow disease. They aren't, though, infectious agents in the usual sense because they aren't living in any sense.

Bacteria are single-celled organisms. Some cause diseases, while others are necessary for life. Each bacterium contains a DNA molecule and RNA, which performs tasks directed by the DNA and carries messages to and from DNA.

Viruses are almost-cells. They have all the factors of a cell, except for DNA. They infect by invading cells and using their RNA to fool the cell's DNA into creating more of the virus.

Prions, though, are not alive in any sense. Therefore, they cannot be killed, even at extreme temperatures. They are simply bits of proteins-literally parts of molecules. Originally, it was believed that they infected because they were misshapen, abnormally folded. The guess was that they infected cells by causing normal prions to become misshapen, too. That theory, though, has been proven false, though it is still commonly believed. (See Sanctuary: Bad Bad Prions from Discover, dated 9 January of this year for an example of the ongoing belief.)

The first serious attack on the prion-as-infectious-agent theory was reported in Medical Hypotheses in 1997. The article makes the case that prions trigger an autoimmune response.(1) As becomes clear the more one looks into the issue, this makes sense and fits the facts as known.

The prions-as-infectious-agents theory has never fit the facts, nor does it make any logical sense. Infectious agents are things with a life imperative to keep them functioning and reproducing. Nothing about prions can be demonstrated to have any life. They do not reproduce. They do not contain any sort of self-maintained existence. An organism becomes infected when another organism invades and uses it to survive and reproduce. There is no life force in a prion to seek out and infect" another organism.

Prions are merely pieces of protein-not even whole proteins-that are similar to bits of protein in our own bodies. When they enter the body abnormally, that is, through a method like inhalation or injection, our bodies' immune systems see them as foreign and manufacture antibodies to them. These antibodies seek out anything that's similar to the protein bits-prions- they were patterned after to destroy.

In the case of prions, the danger is their similarity to parts of our own bodies. Antibodies that develop to fight prions will attack cells in their own bodies with disastrous results. This is, in fact, the definition of an autoimmune disorder-the immune system going haywire and attacking the body's own cells. 


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