Friday, October 18, 2013

Conference Report: Expanding Prion Horizons - Day 1

Characteristics of Alzheimer's disease
We at BMG LABTECH are happy to be able to sponsor this weeks Expanding Prion Horizons meeting at Colorado State University. The first day was certainly a success with excellent talks and stimulating discussion.

Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner got the day started with an excellent key note speech in which he stated his hypothesis that all neurodegenerative disease can also be considered prion diseases. This includes chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which has been in the news recently due to the concerns over head trauma in football in the United States.

The morning had a number of excellent talks that discussed the various ways that protein misfolding can lead to human disease while the afternoon focused on the biology and pathology of prion diseases. One talk that BMG took particular notice of was by Martin Margittai discussing fibril growth of Tau which results in neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer's Disease. His talk was interesting due to the experimental approach he presented which can be used to monitor Tau filament growth. After labeling Tau monomers they were able to monitor filament growth using fluorescence spectroscopy in which they excited at a wavelength of 344 nm then performed an emission scan from 360 to 600 nm. As the Tau filament grows the emission peak shifts so they can now use this assay to test for filament growth efficiency.This approach could be easily adapted for higher throughput using the new CLARIOstar from BMG LABTECH which features an Advanced LVF Monochromator.