University developing faster test for fatal deer disease

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - With Minnesota's archery deer season underway, hunters in the state's hot zones for chronic wasting disease are figuring out where to drop off the heads of their deer for testing.

The science for detecting the fatal brain disease is making progress. But tissue samples must be sent out of state, and results take a few days. Hunters need a faster, easier testing method. That's something the University of Minnesota hopes to develop in two years.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the newly formed Minnesota Center for Prion Research and Outreach is the university's first step in developing real-time diagnostic tests to help stop the contagion. The disease is caused by a prion, an abnormally shaped protein.

Since 2016, 37 infected deer have been confirmed in Minnesota.