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Free course

BSE and vCJD: their biology and management

Free statement of participation on completion
BSE and vCJD: their biology and management Copyrighted Icon


Please note: This is course is due to be archived on Wednesday 7th December. You can study the course up until this date. For learners who have completed the course, the Statement of Participation will remain in your learner records in your OpenLearn profile.


The furore surrounding the so-called 'mad cow' diseases is an important and controversial episode of recent years. Although it peaked several years ago, the topic is still of great medical significance, influencing the way the public thinks about and experiences science and scientists. All of which is touched upon in in this free course, BSE and vCJD: their biology and management.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the way that prion molecules cause diseases such as BSE and vCJD, and how the key discoveries about prions were made
  • demonstrate knowledge of the patterns of BSE and vCJD in populations, and how this information is used to predict the number of cases there may be in future (and to assess the accuracy and precision of such predictions)
  • demonstrate knowledge of how science can make important contributions to managing episodes such as BSE/vCJD, and how important insights are gained from disciplines outside the natural sciences and also members of the general public, including farmers and consumers of beef-related products.

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 23/10/2018

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