A researcher with the University of Alberta may have found a way to keep cattle waste products out of landfills. David Bressler, an associate professor with the institution's Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science began working to find uses for beef parts contaminated with mad cow disease after the Canadian beef industry was struck with the illness in 2003.

Now Bressler has found a way to use the parts to create plastics that may find their way into vehicle cabins. The process uses proteins derived from infected cow skulls, brains, nerves, eyes, tonsils and spinal cords (ick) that are currently banned from any use at all for fear of spreading infection.

The University of Alberta has a special permit to handle the proteins. By using high temperatures to break down the proteins, Bressler was then able to re-link them with other molecules to create the plastics. The material will need to go through all of the necessary regulatory trials, but its creator hopes to see the plastic in car interiors in as little as 12 months.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      4 String
      • 3 Years Ago
      So if I lick my car interior, will I get mad?
      Gorgenapper
      • 3 Years Ago
      After much rumination, I feel that this is the tech of the future. I mean, why should we be the ones caught lying down before the storm hits? We can find a way to turn otherwise useless mad cow parts into lightweight yet beefy autoparts. I'd steak my reputation on this innovative idea! Consumers will hoof it into the nearest dealership to snap these cars up. No BS here, just quality branded merchandise. Okay, I'm done. Moo.
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      These guys need Bovine intervention. What an udderly odd idea!
      King George
      • 3 Years Ago
      Your car horn goes muuuuuu ...
      Keith
      • 3 Years Ago
      My dog would eat my car.
      Carbon Fibre
      • 3 Years Ago
      This cow looks like he means it.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      That mad cow has some mad skillz.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      cashsixeight
      • 3 Years Ago
      They'll probably use these plastics in all the new cattlelacs.
      b
      • 3 Years Ago
      When I grow up, I'm going to Bovine University!
      michael
      • 3 Years Ago
      I somehow doubt that automakers will be lining up to do this. All it'll take is one story, and a lot of people would be wary of buying a car that had parts made out of diseased cattle. I'm not just talking about vegans/vegetarians either.
      deere2011
      • 3 Years Ago
      i'm game...why not use something that is otherwise useless for a useful practice? besides, its not like the diseased proteins are live after subjected to the extremely high temperatures. we already use leather for seats...any difference in making the plastics?
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