Monday, December 1, 2014

Exploration 8

     I enjoyed the movie and I think it does a good job a addressing a real problem in today's modern world. To me, where my attention focused on was the ethos of the film. The emphasis on cheaper faster food it seems really is hurting us in noticeable ways. The other thing I really thought the film did well, was that it didn't spend the who time focusing on the problems and trying to force people into changing. That adds some ethos in my opinion, they actually spent the majority of the time talking about the positive direction we are starting to go in.They had a lot of very knowledgeable people that discussed various aspects of farming and agriculture, which also adds to the ethos of the film. I think it was Michael Polan who said "It's time to shift to a new paradigm" referring to the way we look at food. That really speaks to me because I agree with what he's trying to express.

     The topic I chose to research was Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, better known as "mad cow disease." From a scientific standpoint this is very interesting to me because it is a relatively new thing. The name literally means spongy brain, and that's basically what it does. It is characterized by the inability to walk or even stand up because of the breakdown of the nervous system. It happens when cows eat the bone and meat meal of other cows, this was discussed in the film and it makes a lot of sense. It is a big problem in the United Kingdom and they have the majority of confirmed cases. When there is a confirmed case, the entire heard has to be destroyed to contain a possible spread, this is a huge waste of cattle.

    The way it works is worth noting as well. It is caused by these little things called prions. A prion is unique in that it doesn't have any nucleic acid in it, they are "miss folded" proteins. This separates it from all known bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi, all of which have nucleic acid and are considered living organisms. The main way it is transmitted to humans is when we eat the infected marrow or brain matter of an infected cow. It spread quickly, presents quickly, and is always fatal. The main reason for this is simply lack of understanding. This is an anomaly in the microbiological world and because of this, not a lot is known about it and how it can be treated.  The links to my research is - and


1 comment:

  1. that is really interesting actually. Mad cow disease is a new, real thing. It seems to be a problem, and it does seem to be related to what we feed our cattle and how we treat them. Neat stuff.


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