What ever happened to PRIONS ??? (scrapie, C-J, BSE) 
Author Message
 What ever happened to PRIONS ??? (scrapie, C-J, BSE)

A couple years ago, a researcher at UCSF claimed that certain diseases,
including scrapie and Creuzfeldt-Jakob syndrome, were caused by an
infective agent he called "prions".  Prions are said to be like viruses,
but are composed of protein only, no RNA or DNA.

If true, this seems to me to be one of the most important discoveries
of the decade.  Yet, I've heard almost nothing on this topic since
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN published an article.  What is the current status
of prions?  Has the theory been discredited or what?



Mon, 19 Apr 1993 19:41:00 GMT
 What ever happened to PRIONS ??? (scrapie, C-J, BSE)

Quote:
> A couple years ago, a researcher at UCSF claimed that certain diseases,
> including scrapie and Creuzfeldt-Jakob syndrome, were caused by an
> infective agent he called "prions".  Prions are said to be like viruses,
> but are composed of protein only, no RNA or DNA.

> If true, this seems to me to be one of the most important discoveries
> of the decade.  Yet, I've heard almost nothing on this topic since
> SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN published an article.  What is the current status
> of prions?  Has the theory been discredited or what?

Although I am not fully update on prions I've read some journal articles
other than SciAm. The theory has not been discredited, to the contrary
many people are interested in this problem. The most recent work I read
identified the protein comprising the prion as actually being a normal
cellular protein whose expression has somewhat gone haywire. The route
of infectivity was not clear to me, but they are still working on it.

MIke Benedik
Biochemical Sciences
University of Houston



Mon, 19 Apr 1993 18:31:00 GMT
 What ever happened to PRIONS ??? (scrapie, C-J, BSE)

Quote:
>SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN published an article.  What is the current status
>of prions?  Has the theory been discredited or what?

Just a comment on the name.  The name "Prion" is unfortunate, since that is
the common English name of a group of southern hemisphere pelagic birds,
related to petrels.  "Prions" are also know as "whale-birds", and
apparently used to hang arong whales and eat the krill and other
plankton that the whales injure or otherwise stir up.

David Mark



Mon, 19 Apr 1993 22:00:00 GMT
 
 [ 3 post ] 

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