Kuru Essay

Essay by Albania66Junior High, 9th gradeA-, November 2014

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Adelaide Demaj

HBS 4-10

Mr. Boken


Kuru Disease

Kuru is a disease of the nervous system, specifically a spongy form encephalopathy, from practises of cannibalism during funerals in Papua New Guinea among the Fore tribe. It is extremely rare and fatal. It's caused by an infectious protein (prion), which is found in contaminated human brain tissue.This protein influences irregular protein folding in the brain cells, which leads to flawed brain tissue, and result in progressive and incurable brain damage. When Kuru has entered into the brain tissues, holes become visible under a microscope, and the holes from after misfolded prion protein kill neurons in the brain.

Kuru is highly infectious, and the disease could either be transmitted by eating or contact with open wounds and/or sores. It is also called "Laughing Death/Disease", because many of the scientist who have observed those affected by the disease have noticed fits of hysterical laughing occurring during death.

This awful disease emerged in the 1950s- 1960s and quickly took over numerous villages in New Guinea's isolated Fore tribe. Scientist later discovered that the only way the disease could be obtained was by consuming contaminated brain tissue.

Due to this bizarre and possible epidemic, the government quickly discouraged the practise of cannibalism which led to a declining, and has now mostly disappeared. Australian administration outlawed fighting, child marriage, cannibalism in the late 1950s, resulting in the replenishment of children and no child born after 1960 had come down with Kuru. But an endocannibalistic rituals, which defined their culture. They consumed their naturally deceased family members and friends as a way to honor them, pass on spiritual aspect of the dead to the living and helping to free the spirit of the dead. But only the relatives of the deceased family member...