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Mad Cow Disease at Next Clarkson University Science Cafe Wednesday

Mad cow disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and more will be discussed by Clarkson University Prof. Ed Moczydlowski at the next Science Cafe at Jack & Wezzie’s Coffee House (formerly Fields Coffee House) in Potsdam this Wednesday, September 24, at 7:30 p.m.

Science Cafes bring together scientists and townspeople in a relaxed, informal setting, where a guest scientist makes a short presentation about a topic in his or her field, and then opens up the floor to discussion.

Moczydlowski’s presentation is titled "Biology of Prion Diseases" and is described as follows:

"You may have heard of strange transmissible degenerative brain diseases such as kuru in New Guinea, mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) of humans, scrapie of sheep, and chronic wasting disease of elk. But did you know that all of these diseases are caused by a misfolded form of a normal protein encoded by one of our own genes? This Science Cafe discussion will trace the bizarre but fascinating story of the Nobel Prize winning discovery of prions in an attempt to separate the hype from the horror. Warning: sensitive topics such as cannibalism, downer cattle, Korean protests against U.S. beef imports, GMOs and biotechnology will be given their due."

Here’s a rundown of upcoming Science Cafe topics and speakers:

October 15: Size Matters: Life in the St. Lawrence River, Michael Twiss

October 29: The Rule of 1000 Determines Our Exposure to Environmental Pollutants, Andrea Ferro

November 12: Coffee, Gossip, and Math; Kathleen Fowler

E-mail Daniel ben-Avraham at with any questions or suggestions for future Science Cafe topics.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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