Prion structure identified

Newly discovered infectious prion structure shines light on bovine spongiform encephalopathy and other prion diseases.

Groundbreaking research from the University of Alberta has identified the structure of the infectious prion protein — the cause of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), chronic wasting disease in deer and elk and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans — which has long remained a mystery.

The infectious prion protein is a misfolded protein, which makes it very difficult to purify and study, the researchers said. Because it clumps together, standard structural biology techniques canno

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