Talk:Kuru (disease)

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Former good article Kuru (disease) was one of the good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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June 30, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted
November 8, 2006 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article
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Michael Alpers[edit]

There would be many who give primacy to Michael Alpers in the discovery of Kuru THis piece is worth referencing perhaps Michael Alpers story — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mdjkf (talkcontribs) 00:11, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Western Medicine[edit]

I've removed the term "in Western Medicine" from the discussion of the causes, since it's weasle wording. Medicine is (or should be) based upon consideration of the evidence - whether the medics are "Western" or otherwise is irrelevant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 163.1.176.253 (talk) 12:35, 23 February 2008 (UTC)


Permissions[edit]

Original author's permission to adapt.

Hi Rohan- I would be happy to allow the use of my Kuru paper for the encyclopedia. Is there anything further you need me to do? Do I need to copyright the paper, or do you just need my permission? I'm not quite sure how to handle this type of situation. Let me know and I will assist you in anyway possible.

Thanks! Stacy McGrath

why cannibalism[edit]

I think the article should make some mention of why the South Fore practice(d) cannibalism. My recollection is that upland New Guinea had few indigenous sources of protein, forcing those living there to resort to such measures. I think they incorporated it into their culture, and that one ate ones relatives (although I'm not so sure about this last bit). Equally, the article says kuru "all but disappeared with the termination of cannibalism in New Guinea" - I imagine that once the cause was determined, some program of health education was undertaken (by whom?) which caused said termination. So, in summary, the article should say why the South Fore did it, and why they stopped doing it (maybe only a sentence for each would be sufficient - I realise this is an article about the disease, not a treatise of cultural anthropology). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:35, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Cannibalism stopped when it was made illegal in 1957. The people didn't put up much resistance to the ban, I think because the practice of eating the dead hadn't been going on in their culture for all that long, so it wasn't really a big deal for them to abandon it. Kuru didn't stop with the ban, there are still occasional cases today due to the huge incubation periods. The Fore people also still don't believe in infectious agents - they are convinced kuru was some kind of supernatural punishment or curse. As to why they started practising cannibalism in the first place, having spoken to some people who've been out there I get the impression it was partly because a neighbouring tribe pointed out it was a good source of much needed protein, and partly because they thought it was kind of rude to chuck your relatives in a pit to rot. It became part of the funerary rituals. I will put some of this in when I get round to it! --Purple 17:28, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Was there a famine at the time they started, that they needed a good source of protein? Plus, what about this neigbouring tribe. Were they affected by Kuru? They must have already practiced it if they were the ones to show it to the South Fore. 24.84.35.186 20:12, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

From what I've been reading in "Guns, Germs, and Steel," the climate of the New Guinean highlands doesn't have any natural sources of protein. There are no large animals in the region that can be eaten. Additionally, high protein crops like wheat and barley won't grow there, and the highlands have little access to oceans and streams, which means no fish either. Protein deficiency was endemic there for hundreds of years, leading to cannibalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.192.82.87 (talk) 07:15, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/features/article3215917.ece

Looks like the men escaped because they invented a reason not to eat dead people. The RS lecture should be citeable. It is not impossible that the women were encouraged to become cannibals because they would be "distasteful" to other tribes and less likely to be stolen (see various tatooing and mutilation rituals). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.177.22.199 (talk) 22:20, 26 January 2008 (UTC) There is a very serious error here. THE MEN ATE THE CHOICE PARTS OF THE DEAD HUMAN...the women and children got what was left. There is obviously an attempt here to cover up the extreme mysogyny practiced by the males of the fore tribe. oldcitycat (talk) 00:39, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

distinct from CJD?[edit]

Is this actually a distinct disease from Creutzfeldt-Jakob_disease? It seems like maybe the articles should be merged but maybe these are different rather than two different names for the same disease. Kit 05:08:49, 2005-08-09 (UTC)

They are most certainly distinct. CJD is inherited, and vCJD is CJD from consuming beef. Kuru is a prion disease due to cannibalism, although its persistence is unexplained. Okay, the mechanism is similar, but to merge this with CJD would lead to loss of a vital distinction. JFW | T@lk 16:59, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for clarifying. Kit 20:29:06, 2005-08-09 (UTC)
Purple, what do you mean by the "persistence of the Kuru prion"? 24.84.35.186 20:09, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
According to the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Creutzfeld-Jakob Fact Sheet, there are three major categories of CJD:
In sporadic CJD, the disease appears even though the person has no known risk factors for the disease. This is by far the most common type of CJD and accounts for at least 85 percent of cases.
In hereditary CJD, the person has a family history of the disease and/or tests positive for a genetic mutation associated with CJD. About 5 to 10 percent of cases of CJD in the United States are hereditary.
In iatrogenic or acquired CJD, the disease is transmitted by exposure to brain or nervous system tissue, or extracts from such tissue such as human growth hormone made from cadaver pituitary glands (human growth hormone is now exclusively made from bacteria with recombinant DNA coding for that hormone and cannot cause CJD). Now, the only remaining routes of transmission for this disease are transplants of nerve tissue such as cornea or dura mater, or reuse of surgical instruments after use in neurosurgery on CJD patients. Fewer than 1 percent of CJD cases have been acquired through medical treatment.
A fourth type, variant Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, is thought to be caused by eating food infected with prions (such as the ones which are thought to have cause the outbreak of "mad cow disease" or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy originating in Great Britain).
The existence of acquired and variant CJD raises in some researchers' minds the issue of whether or not the causative agent of Creutzfeld-Jakob disease goes from mother to child by vertical transmission, with emphasis on the variant form of Creutzfeld-Jakob disease commonly thought to have spread from human consumption of meat from cattle infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. A recent study of 125 children of parents with variant Creutzfeld-Jakob disease shows no evidence of transmission in this way, but the study's authors emphasize that it may take an unusually long time for the disease to cause symptoms transmitted in this way. Since familial Creutzfeld-Jakob disease occurs mainly in middle-aged to elderly people, if vertical transmission of the variant form of CJD occurs, it's not unreasonable to ask if the older form of CJD spreads in this manner, too.
Finally, prion resistance is known to be genetically inherited, so it may simply be that familial CJD is not itself caused by a gene, but the result of an unusual susceptibility to infection by the prion which causes Creutzfeld-Jakob disease.
So, to answer your question, Creutzfeld-Jakob disease and kuru are thought to result from infection by different kinds of prion, but can both be spread through meat infected with prions which cause those diseases. In fact, kuru was discovered to be transmissible from organism to organism by researchers at the National Institutes of Health who injected healthy chimpanzees with homogenized brain tissue from Fore people who died of kuru, in much the same way acquired/iatrogenic CJD has been transmitted during neurosurgery by contaminated surgical instruments or transplants of brain or nerve tissue from bodies of CJD victims.
As far as 'persistence of the kuru prion,' prions are in general resistant to almost every known disinfectant technique used in hospitals, laboratories, and pharmaceutical plants. They can survive radiation dosage capable of destroying all but a few kinds of viruses. This is one reason for acquired/iatrogenic CJD - it wasn't known at the time most of these cases occurred that CJD could be spread from patient to patient, and that it was caused by an agent that could be steam autoclaved, immersed in formalin and sterilized in other ways thought to kill most viruses and bacteria. loupgarous (talk) 04:23, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

This is one of the best articles I've read. Nicely done.

In-line references[edit]

This article would be better it if were clear which reference supports which statements. The is greatly increases verifiablilty. ike9898 16:36, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree about the referencing. But it is an excellent article. I know a lot about prions and have gone a bit mad editing all the prion pages but I haven't touuched kuru because there's nothing to be done --Purple 02:17, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Kuru and prions[edit]

I'm not sure if this is the right place to put my question, but I'm doing a research project on the Kuru disease and I'd like to know what exactly prions do that cause the brain to get "spongy".

Now, from reading the Prion article in Wikipedia, I get that the PrP^Sc protein contains a lot more of the amino acid structure called "beta sheets" than the normal PrP^C proteins. Now assuming that HuPrP^Sc kuru protein is somewhat related to the PrP^Sc protein, these "beta sheets" allow the proteins to form insoluble fibrils called amyloid aggregations. How do these fibres cause problems? I'm only a grade 10 student, so I'd like a somewhat simplified answer so that I can understand what you are saying without having to research every word I don't understand. :)

I'd also like to know what exactly amyloid aggregations are. From what I can understand so far, they are structures formed by the prions that cause a heck of a lot of problems. Would I be correct? The article on amyloids in Wikipedia tells me that they are responsible for many neurodegenerative diseases, but it doesn't tell me how the amyloid aggregations cause the problems. Doing some more research on Wikipedia, I found that amyloid aggregations cause problems in people with Alzheimers by braking down blood vessels. Does the same sort of thing happen in Kuru?

I would really appreciate your help.

-Proteins have four levels (primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary) of structure. The two most important characteristics of secondary protein structure are alpha-helixes and beta-pleated sheets. A prion is a protein that is somehow misformed (I'm not sure if this malformation has anything to do with beta-pleated sheets or not), and this misformation makes the protein nonfunctional. Through a still unclear mechanism, prions can transmit their structural mistakes to normally structured proteins. The malformation spreads through the proteins of a normal brain after the prions are ingested, and more and more proteins become converted to prions and become nonfunctional. Proteins that don't work will obviously impede cellular functions and cause cell death, destroying brain tissue and creating a "spongy" texture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.192.82.87 (talk) 07:22, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Kuru and Cannibalism - the evidence doesn't fit[edit]

The connection just isn't there.
1. Kuru has never been successfully transmitted to animals via the alimentary canal, only by direct invasion of the bloodstream. Even Gadjusek, toward the end of his life, stated that there must be some other mode of transmission other than cannibalism. This rather straightforward fact is ignored by those anxious to promote either prion theory or Fore cannibalism. He proposed that handling human brains and then rubbing eyes or picking noses could have caused the spread of the disease. (This is handling corpses, not eating them.) Remember, this is a disease that was causing more than half the deaths in the Fore community, and it seems unlikely that the illness could that widespread given such a haphazard mode of transmission.
2. Neither Gadjusek nor Lindenbaum nor any other researcher ever observed Fore cannibalism. In fact, Gadjusek's journals consistently lament the absence of cannibalism, and when it had occured it "certainly did not involve brains." Even allowing for a prolonged latency period, even Gadjusek admitted that there is no way that the youngest victims had ever eaten human flesh.
3. Kuru is a varient of Creutzfeldt-Jakob's disease, which leads to the question, how is it, and other suspected prion diseases, spread in the West? No one has serious proposed that mad cow disease in England is contracted by cannibalism.
4. Remember, prions are just a theory, and a controversial one. In terms of their relation to theories of universal cannibalism among our ancestors, those theories BEGIN with the potentialy unfounded assumption that the Fore were cannibals, they don't prove it.

-As of now prions are the best explanation we have for many diseases like kuru or mad cow. As for mad cow, most theories suggest that it was caused not by cannibalism among humans, but cannibalism among cows. Many sheep and cattle ranchers found it cheaper to provide protein to their livestock by feeding them ground up meat from other livestock, often including the brain and/or spinal cord. It is also inaccurate to suggest that kuru isn't caused by cannibalism, but by handling bodies. Prions can find their way into the bloodstream through any obvious orifice like eyes etc, but also (because prions are misshapen proteins they are tiny pieces of subcellular machinery) through any minute cuts or scratches at any point in the alimentary canal. Due to their misshapen structure it is easily possible that prions are nonresponsive to the changes in temperature and acidity of the stomach, finding their way in through any breaches in the digestive system. Also, cannibalism leads to an inordinate amount of "handling corpses," so cannibalism is still to blame, even by proxy.

I do not believe that it is possible to have "spontaneously developed some form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)". However Kuru certainly is a similar disease. As CJD can be transmitted by eating contaminated meat, so could Kuru. It is well known that cannibalism was common in PNG. So-called endocannibalism was common amongst Australian aborigines as well. So it is logical that any disease like CJD would be spread by humans eating human flesh. So there is a connection between Kuru and cannibalism. The suggestion that the youngest victims could not have eaten human flesh is not necessarily correct. Cannibalism is not unknown in PNG even now. The Wikipedia article on Gadjusek expressly refers to his linking kuru with cannibalism amongst the Fore!203.184.41.226 (talk) 06:26, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Let's address these issues in order.
First, if a disease is vectored during preparation of a corpse as food (which cutting the brain up into portions during a mortuary feast would be), then, yes, it's ingestion of the tissue, whether through the oropharyngeal tract by wiping the nose while handling infected brain, or eating it. I don't see this as a convincing disproof of the cannibalism vector for kuru. The fact is, when the cannibalism stopped among the Fore, the number of kuru cases dropped precipitously. Also, Prusiner, McCaughey and other researchers of transmissible encephalopathies have recorded passage of these diseases by ingestion. It's slow, but it happens, and it's happened very fast in the case of mink encephalopathy, which appears to be linked to mink ranchers feeding their mink meat from "downer" cattle which fall over and die for unexplored reasons.
Second, the practice of mortuary feasts (cannibalism of those who have died for other reasons than murder with the object of cannibalism as a motive) is well-established by the work of Shirley Lindenbaum, in her 1979 work Kuru Sorcery: Disease and Danger in the New Guinea Highlands. Dr. Lindenbaum lived among the Fore People at the same time that Zigas and Gajdusek studied kuru among the Fore, and actually was the person who'd first alerted Gajdusek to the possibility that kuru was being passaged through the Fore mortuary feasts.
Third, it's true that the prion hypothesis is controversial. The standard textbook on virology, by Fields, once listed in side-by-side columns articles by Prusiner and Gajdusek on causation of the transmissible encephalopathies, to reflect the rift in the community researching these diseases on their assessment of the evidence pointing to a specific cause for the illness.
However, even though Stanley Prusiner approached his research in such a way as to raise questions about his objectivity (confirmation bias being the least troublesome thing of which he's been accused, and rubbishing competitors' papers as a reviewer for scientific journals one of the worst), the prion hypothesis has survived because other people besides Prusiner and his team have done work which affirms the hypothesis.
Fourth, "sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease" is called that specifically because it DOES appear sporadically, with little or no family history or history of exposure to what are now recognized as the etiologic agents of transmissible Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease such as human growth hormone made from cadaver human pituitaries or transplants of nerve tissue from cadavers of patients who expired from CJD or other brain disorders which might have been misdiagnosed as not being CJD. So yes, people do spontaneously (as far as consideration of those patients' medical history permits) fall ill with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
Fifth, actually, theories about prehistoric human cannibalism precede the Fore, and are affirmed by anthropologists' discovery of human bones at early human settlements showing tool marks indicating they'd been cut for meat.
For anyone reading this discussion who'd like to learn more, a good broad-audience cultural and scientific history of kuru and other transmissible encephalopathies is Richard Rhodes' Deadly Feasts. Rhodes describes in great detail the evidence linking kuru to the practice of mortuary feasts. Rhodes also lists the evidence pro and con for the prion hypothesis, including possible sources of bias in Prusiner's work (mostly, probable confirmation bias), and overlooked alternative hypotheses for the transmissible encephalopathies. loupgarous (talk)

Additional Info[edit]

I remember that the PBS Nova documentary on prions mentioned something about why the women and children were afflicted more often by Kuru than males were. It had something to do with the "good" parts of the corpse and the "bad" parts of the corpse. The males got the "good" parts, which usually consisted of the muscles and fatty organs. The females and children got the "bad" parts, which included the brain and the other less desirable parts. Thus, the women and children directly ingested the prion, which would explain the disproportional distribution of Kuru occurrence between the males and females.
I'm adding this info into the article. I also found the source at the PBS site, so I'm fairly confident in the info.[1] Jumping cheese Contact 03:39, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Reasons for GA Delisting[edit]

This article's GA status has been revoked because it fails criterion 2. b. of 'What is a Good Article?', which states;

(b) the citation of its sources using inline citations is required (this criterion is disputed by editors on Physics and Mathematics pages who have proposed a subject-specific guideline on citation, as well as some other editors — see talk page).

LuciferMorgan 22:58, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

So what does it mean?[edit]

The opening paragraph translates kuru as both "shaking death" and "trembling with cold and fever" - which is it? --NEMT 04:57, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Probably both. Words often have multiple translations as they have multiple meaning, just look at a dictionary. 131.91.92.184 (talk) 14:28, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
You're replying to a year-old comment. The only sourced translation is "trembling with fear." Xihr (talk) 23:54, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

incubation period[edit]

All of the victims were born before 1950 indicating that the disease has a long incubation period. The minimum incubation period for many of the victims was between 34 and 41 years.(Collinge, et al., 2006)

In humans, kuru had an incubation period with a minimum of two years and maximum of twenty-three (Gajdusek et al., 1966).

Which is it?

Or should the first quote above be changed to read:

All of the victims were born before 1950 indicating that the disease has a long incubation period. The incubation period for many of the victims was between 34 and 41 years.(Collinge, et al., 2006)

SLATE 03:59, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

This possibility was eventually ruled out because kuru was too common and too fatal (Lindenbaum, 1979) — such a lethal genetic disorder would drastically reduce the fitness of a population and soon die out of the gene pool.

I'm not sure a disease with such a long dormancy period can provide a large enough selection on indiviudals within a population to eliminate such individuals, especially within the timeframe considered here. In other words, the argument Lindenbaum makes (I have not read the original work), that kuru cannot be a genetic disease because it would be eliminated if it were so, is weak at best. Diseases that occur after an individual reaches reproductive age are often very long lived in a population; if not indefinite, they can last many generations.

Zamftb 21:05, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

The question is: did cannibalism end with the 1950s ban? The PRNP and other prion-relatied articles suggest it didn't. Which would fit with the 2006 paper's findings. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 23:54, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Cannibalism phased out with the 1950's ban (and with improved transport into the area, and with other social changes). There was small resurgance later. There was also a strong inclination to believe that (a) cannibalism had stopped, (b) it had never existed anyway, and (c) it certainly didn't have anything to do with kuru. I wouldn't take any of the incubation period estimates as prescriptive.218.214.18.240 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 10:53, 2 November 2010 (UTC).

The Laughing Sickness in Mayan civilisations[edit]

Just saw Apocalypto and there was a scene with a man they described as having "the laughing sickness". He was emaciated and laughing manically. Just curious to know if there is any evidence that kuru was in Mayan cultures, and was this a reference to kuru or is this just Mel Gibson making things up again. Nomadtales 08:58, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

It's a movie. Get over it.Viz 03:57, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

It's a question. Answer it. Nomadtales 09:03, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Mel Gibson making things up again. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 23:50, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Translation[edit]

The first paragraph gives two translations for kuru. --Savant13 21:20, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Copyright issues[edit]

This article was created (check the history at the link) with content adapted from another author, and used with permission for the encyclopedia as far as the authors statement above references. "Hi Rohan- I would be happy to allow the use of my Kuru paper for the encyclopedia." This means that it's used as fair use under WP:NONFREE and WP:NFCC. Needs to be deleted for the time being, if we can get a free content liscense from the author we can always restore. -70.161.199.196 18:31, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

That makes no sense. If the copyright holder granted permission, why delete? Catchpole 20:39, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
It wasn't licensed, making it just fair-use. Since we are a free encyclopedia, we are supposed to have free articles and not fair-use articles. --Hemlock Martinis 20:53, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I cannot see what practical difference it makes in this case. Seems like cutting your nose off to spite your face. Catchpole 21:00, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
It makes a huge issue, we distribute the encyclopedia to others, and give them rights to change, distribute, and charge for it if they wish. Look at the logo in the upper right, "The Free Encyclopedia" means free content. -70.161.199.196 22:47, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I have tried to find contact information for Ms. McGrath (the original author of the work that the deleted version is a derivative work of) but have come up dry. I have sent an email to the former Professor whose page the work is hosted on requesting contact information. --Jeremyb 00:45, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

This article is not sufficiently researched. There is considerably more information on kuru and CJD that should be at least mentioned, and Shirley Lindenbaum's work among the Fore women should be given the attention it merits. There is an attempt by certain anthropologists and political groups to cover up unpleasant information about primitive peoples. oldcitycat (talk) 00:45, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Origin of the term "laughing disease"[edit]

I first became aware of kuru in the mid-70s as a result of an article in a (now defunct) local magazine that – though aimed at the popular market - was respected for its well-researched reporting on medical issues.

Although it mentioned the inappropriate laughter exhibited by some sufferers, it attributed the term “laughing disease” mainly to a characteristic that I have not seen mentioned in any recent papers: According to the article, end-stage sufferers experienced facial contortion that bared the teeth in a permanent grimace. The accompanying photographs showed both humans and experimentally infected chimpanzees affected in this way.

Niki 19 August 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chirpybird (talkcontribs) 05:25, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

I have since come across a site where the phenomenon is described in an interview with pioneer researcher DJ Gajdusek:

http://www.astralgia.com/webportfolio/omnimoment/archives/interviews/gajdusek.html

The gist of it is that, while this grimace did give rise to the name, it is not a constant feature of the disease, nor is it fixed - rather, the muscles are slow to relax after contracting. Chirpybird (talk) 10:14, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

First noted contradiction[edit]

In the 'history' section, both the first and second paragraphs give a 'kuru was first noted...' statement but give different years and different occupations of the people noting it. Am I misreading? Syrthiss (talk) 17:59, 24 January 2012 (UTC)


Kuru in syria ? Hoax or not[edit]

The year of release of this paper from michigan univercity http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp204-us14/2014/08/08/kuru-in-syria/ is 2014. until now , no confirmation ? no peer review information ? Is it an hoax ? Best regards Michel1961 (talk) 17:21, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

I can't find a "paper" there; just a class post from a student which uses examiner.com as a "source" (it's not even a reliable source for wikipedia, much less a scientific work). The other reference is to a paper that does not refer to Syria in any way. A quick search shows this claim is popular tabloid fodder and not worth your time. Kuru (talk) 22:04, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks ! today i receive hoaxBusters's answer :

Thank you for contacting Hoax Busters. It is interesting that you came across that particular Michigan State University (MSU) article. It is kind of obscure, unless you're specifically searching for kuru-related items. Be that as it may, your assessment is correct. Although, kuru is a real thing, that MSU story is a hoax in that it talks about kuru in Syria. Shirley Lindenbaum, whom the author mentions as a reference, has written extensively about kuru. Yet, there is no mention of Syria in any of her books or papers. The other reference, Examiner.com, was not a real news source (it is no longer operating). They did not employ actual reporters. Rather, they used "independent contributors." In other words, people would submit articles based on their own opinions, much like writing a "letter to the editor" of your local newspaper. They often posted made up stories, or material copied from some of the fringe sites. It functioned much like a clickbait site (see "Clickbait" on the BIG LIST for more information). They used to publish less-than-honest stories just to get folks to click on their links. The author of that MSU article is clearly Islamophobic, trying to tie kuru with the Muslim population in Syria. There was a video going around in 2013 that supposedly showed a Syrian rebel cutting out a soldier's heart and eating it. Real news agencies like CNN and Reuters could not verify that the video was legitimate, however. Regardless, whether true or not, that was a one-time thing. There was no evidence that anyone else participated in a similar act. The author of the MSU article falsely claimed that cannibalism was rampant amongst the rebels by writing that "Kuru resurfaced in the Muslim community recently among Syrian rebels who were rumored to be eating the hearts of victims." Also, his use of the word "resurfaced" implied that the disease had been observed in the Muslim community at an earlier time. His mention of Shirley Lindenbaum was made completely out of context. Although it is true that she did "clarify the history, origin and medical relevance of the disease kuru," as mentioned, she never wrote about Syria.

Michel1961 (talk) 06:10, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Kuru History[edit]

I've recited and reorganized the section about the scientific researchers Kuru (Gajdusek, Alpers, Berndt, Pfarr, and Gibbs). Added these researchers in a more chronological timeline flow of when the scientific discoveries happened.

Some the citations are broken or no longer exists so deleted the E.J Fields and Alpers section.

Section about Berndt is completely plagiarized so rephrased and reworded into the first section Isabelptejada (talk) 04:54, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Unclear sentence - Typo?[edit]

I am not sure what the author meant to write at the beginning of paragraph three of the 'History' section, but it is clearly mis-typed in some way. Can anyone correct it? -

"It was not by the time that the Kuru disease had spread into an epidemic when Daniel Carleton Gajdusek, a virologist, and Vincent Zigas, a medical doctor, first started doing research on the disease in 1957."

Suspicion falls immediately upon the word 'not' towards the beginning...

KurtHLarson (talk) 08:50, 2 January 2017 (UTC)