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In this brilliant and gripping medical detective story. Richard Rhodes follows virus hunters on three continents as they track the emergence of a deadly new brain disease that first kills cannibals in New Guinea, then cattle and young people in Britain and France—and that has already been traced to food animals in the United States. In a new afterword for the paperback, Rhodes reports the latest US and worldwide developments of a burgeoning global threat.
Published: Simon & Schuster on
ISBN: 9780684867601
List price: $12.99
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Deadly Feasts opens up with an absolutely riveting account of the kuru disease devastating the cannibal Fore in New Guinea. Turns out kuru is a prion based Spongiform Encephalopathy (SE) disease spread by cannibalism.Author then proceeds to methodically show how kuru is functionally the same thing as Mad Cow, and SE diseases found in sheep, mink, pigs etc. And the spread is functionally the same: cannibalism. The meat industry in an effort to save costs feeds vegetarian animals ground up meat/brain materials from slaughtered animals not fit to sell to humans.And the scary thing with these SE ‘s is they can bridge species boundaries very easily. Furthermore, even scarier is vegetarians could be at risk if an animal infected with a prion disease defecates on vegetables or fruits.Author points out there really are only two solutions to this problem: stop eating meat or wipe out the existing herds and stop feeding vegetarian animals downed animals in order to save money.Although it opens with a bang, the book does bog down in many places but is well worth a read. Author is clearly a lefty and throws in one gratuitous and completely unnecessary shot at the Newt Congress in the 90’s. But this can be overlooked given the overall excellent content of the book. Well worth the read (especially if you are still eating meat).more
A fast-paced tale of the discovery of fatal prion diseases, beginning with the 1950s-1960s outbreak of kuru in New Guinea, transmitted through cannibalism; Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease, which occurs throughout the world; scrapie in sheep; and finally, Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) in England, beginning in1985, or as Richard Rhodes puts it, "Meat Bites Back."more
A bit on the alarmist side, but a good read with lots of great information on the inner workings of big-time science and the discovery of an all-new type of communicable disease.more
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Reviews

Deadly Feasts opens up with an absolutely riveting account of the kuru disease devastating the cannibal Fore in New Guinea. Turns out kuru is a prion based Spongiform Encephalopathy (SE) disease spread by cannibalism.Author then proceeds to methodically show how kuru is functionally the same thing as Mad Cow, and SE diseases found in sheep, mink, pigs etc. And the spread is functionally the same: cannibalism. The meat industry in an effort to save costs feeds vegetarian animals ground up meat/brain materials from slaughtered animals not fit to sell to humans.And the scary thing with these SE ‘s is they can bridge species boundaries very easily. Furthermore, even scarier is vegetarians could be at risk if an animal infected with a prion disease defecates on vegetables or fruits.Author points out there really are only two solutions to this problem: stop eating meat or wipe out the existing herds and stop feeding vegetarian animals downed animals in order to save money.Although it opens with a bang, the book does bog down in many places but is well worth a read. Author is clearly a lefty and throws in one gratuitous and completely unnecessary shot at the Newt Congress in the 90’s. But this can be overlooked given the overall excellent content of the book. Well worth the read (especially if you are still eating meat).more
A fast-paced tale of the discovery of fatal prion diseases, beginning with the 1950s-1960s outbreak of kuru in New Guinea, transmitted through cannibalism; Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease, which occurs throughout the world; scrapie in sheep; and finally, Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) in England, beginning in1985, or as Richard Rhodes puts it, "Meat Bites Back."more
A bit on the alarmist side, but a good read with lots of great information on the inner workings of big-time science and the discovery of an all-new type of communicable disease.more
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