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PRIONS Prions have been a mistery for scientists from the day they wherediscovered Prions act like viruses but they are not Their structure and chemistry areunknown They are believed to be proteins but that is yet to be completely proved Prion stands for proteinaceous infectious particles Prionsare known to cause many diseases involved with nervous systems like the brain They arethe ones that cause the well known mad cow disesase in Britain andscrapie for animals For humans they are known to cause a rare disease inPapua New Guinea called Kuru or laughing death which striked only thecannibals in the Highlander tribes Investigation led to the discovery of prions insidethe of the victims brains that were eaten by the tribesmen that when they died as a signof respect their brains where eaten and the chain went on and on The thing that makes prions so special is the fact that they lack thebasic elements for reproduction deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid DNA and RNArespectively This is what has given science a great deal of doubt as this would give thedogma of the beginning of live a radical turn Prions have been in research for many years with experiments like theone done by Stanley B Pruiser and his team of scientists at the School of Medicine of theUniversity of California at San Francisco in which a study was carried out on mice to seeif he was able to purify the scrapie agent another prion disease in mice But mice ashumans took very long to develope the disease for example Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinkerdisease or fatal familial insomnia which appear mostly on humans which have passed theage of forty and only in very rare cases before so the experiment was changed to hamstersas these die faster because developed the disease earlier One of the methods used forthis purification process was using a centrifuge that separates the component of amixture according to their size and density After a decade
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