Description

Traditionally we consider infection to arise from viruses, bacteria and parasites. Prions are infectious proteins without any nucleic acids, and therefore do not represent living things. Despite this, they have the ability to replicate themselves and cause diseases such as mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encepthalopathy) and human Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (CJD). This article discusses how prions were first discovered and what has since been elucidated about their effects in various organisms. The mechanisms of protein misfolding in relation to prion biology are also examined.

More from this issue

There is much more to science education than the requirements demanded by the examination curriculum. This article illustrates one example of an...

Jan 2017
Journal Article

Through the development of clubs such as an engineering society and a space society, managed by sixth-form students themselves and structured to...

Jan 2017
Journal Article

Young Scientists Journal' is an online journal entirely produced by students aged 12 20. Started in one school in 2006 as a vehicle for...

Jan 2017
Journal Article