Last week, PNM’s Lincoln Tice explored the sustainability of hunting, primarily as a source for food. Tonight, Lincoln continues the discussion with an epidemic that’s infecting deer populations throughout the state, Chronic Wasting Disease. His guest is Michael Samuel, Professor Emeritus in forest and wildlife ecology at UW-Madison. CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting North American deer and elk associated with the presence of transmissible protease resistant prion proteins (or prions). It’s unclear how and when CWD began infecting Wisconsin deer, but it was first detected in 2002. A small cluster of infected deer from Dane and nearby counties has grown, and has now spread to most, if not all, of the state. So far, CWD has not been known to affect human beings. But it is advisable to have deer tested before processing as food.
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Perpetual Notion Machine is a look at contemporary scientific issues and discoveries in a way that is accessible, understandable and entertaining to the non-scientists of the listening community.