5.What are Prions? What disease they cause? How do they differ from viruses?
Prions: Proteinaceous infectious agent, Linked to a number of fatal human diseases…such as MAD COW Disease. All afflictions cause brain degeneration, Brain tissue develops sponge-like holes, Disease termed transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, Symptoms may not appear for years after infection Apparently arose following gene encoding normal prion protein. Mutation caused protein to have DIFFERENT FOLDING properties, Mutated protein resistant to proteases, Normal protein sensitive, resists UV light and nucleases, Due to lack of nucleic acid, Inactivated by chemicals that denature proteins