Tag Archives | prion

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Mad cow disease airborne

University of Zurich researchers have discovered that prions – the infectious proteins that can causeCreutzfeldt-Jakob (mad cow) disease – can be transmitted through the air. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is characterized by a progressive and invariably lethal breakdown of brain cells. The surprising finding will likely mean a whole new raft of precautionary measures for scientific labs, […]

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Mad cow disease… sans cow!




In a startling new study, scientists have shown for the first time that abnormal prions – fragments of infectious protein that can cause fatal neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – can erupt from healthy brain tissue. The scientists, from The Scripps Research Institute in Florida and the University College London, detail their research in […]




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Prions capable of evolutionary change




Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have discovered that proteinaceous infectious particles (prions) are capable of Darwinian evolution. The breakthrough study, published in Science, shows that prions can develop large numbers of mutations at the protein level and, through natural selection, these mutations can eventually bring about such evolutionary adaptations as drug resistance, a phenomenon […]




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Scientists create species-jumping hybrid prions




In research with profound implications for public health, scientists have created entirely new strains of infectious prions in the laboratory by simply mixing infectious prions from one species with the normal prion proteins of another species. According to the scientists’ report in Cell, the new prions produced symptoms in laboratory animals that differ from any […]




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Prions Role In Evolution Revealed




An incorrect change in a molecule’s shape when a protein misfolds can lead to diseases including Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. But scientists have discovered that misfolded proteins can have a positive effect in yeast, helping cells navigate natural selection by expressing a variety of hidden genetic traits. And at the center of this process is a […]




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