CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Prion protein. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of prion protein. A group of diseases which cause brain degeneration, including scrapie, BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) and human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) seem to be caused by an agent without genetic material. They are thought to be transmitted by prions, abnormal versions of a protein that is normally found in nerves and some other tissues. The prion can convert the normal protein to the abnormal form, which accumulates within nerve cells, destroying them. Magnification unknown.
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