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Rapid Test for Mad Cow Disease

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was rampant in the 1990s. Known as mad cow disease, it can be transmitted to humans and causes the brain of an affected animal to become riddled with holes – like a sponge. The root of this are misfolded proteins, the prions. In 1997, a company called Prionics rolled out the Prionics Check – a rapid BSE test that determines whether an animal is suffering from mad cow disease. Prionics, now Thermo Fisher Scientific, is a UZH spin-off and is one of the trailblazers of the Swiss spin-off scene. To date, more than 40 million Prionics Check kits have been sold, making this the most successful UZH license after Interferon. 

Text: Thomas Gull
Image: Frank Brüderli 

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Rapid Test for Mad Cow Disease