A national group has handed out $8 million to 19 different projects across Canada working on research into prion diseases such as mad cow.PrioNet Canada, a federally funded network of prion researchers, said it is hoped the money will help accelerate discoveries around bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and chronic wasting disease.
Spokesman Dr. Neil Cashman says ultimately the projects will translate to safer food, health and environmental systems for Canadians.
Cashman says the economic crisis resulting from the May 2003 discovery of a Canadian BSE-infected cow spurred a new emphasis on such research.
Prion diseases are untreatable, infectious and fatal neurodegenerative diseases which are still not well understood by science.
Of the money being handed out Wednesday, $1.9 million will go to four research projects at the University of Alberta.
-with a report from CP