JAMES KING-HOLMES / INSTITUTE OF ANIMAL HEALTH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / INSTITUTE OF ANIMAL HEALTH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Prions on cell. Immunofluorescent light micrograph of prion distribution on a cell surface. Prions (gold) are the pathogenic agents of diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or "mad cow disease"), and the similar Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. They are unusual in that they are believed to be solely made up of protein. The cell's nucleus appears blue. The pathogenic prion is an unusual form of a naturally occurring vertebrate protein, and this natural form is shown here. Immunofluorescence is a technique which uses antibodies to attach fluorescent dyes to specific molecules within the cell. Magnification unknown.
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