EM UNIT, VLA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EM UNIT, VLA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Prions in "mad cow" brain. Coloured Transmission Electron Micrograph (TEM) of prion fibrils in the brain of a cow infected with BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) or "mad cow" disease. Prions are virus-like organisms made up of a prion protein. These elongated fibrils (orange) are believed to be aggregations of the protein that makes up the infectious prion. Prions attack nerve cells producing neurodegenerative brain disease. Prions cause BSE in cattle; scrapie in sheep and goats; and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Negatively stained. Magnification: x62,000 at 6x4.5cm size.
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