Japan researchers believe they've succeeded in artificially triggering the onset of BSE in cattle. The Japan Economic Newswire reported last month several cows inoculated with abnormal prions at the Hokkaido Animal Research Center have exhibited BSE symptoms.

Researchers plan to dissect three of the animals in February to confirm BSE infection. It would be the first successful case of artificially-induced BSE in Japan, a boon to further study of the disease. Japan recorded its 21st case of BSE in December 2005. Its first was confirmed in fall 2001.