Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Prion Disease

Prion diseases are complicated and often fatal illnesses. This specific prion disease is known as kuru, or the cannibalism disorder. Although extremely rare, it is devastating, and resistance may be attainable. People with a mutation on codon 129 of the prion protein seem to be less susceptible to prion diseases if they have one or two copies. When tested on mice, it was found that a different codon, codon 127, made mice completely resistant when it was mutated. The research shows the reason behind this is because the mutation on codon 127 prevents the prion protein from becoming misshapen, which is what causes the disease.
Researchers are currently working on determining the structure of the mutated protein, and trying to use it as a defence in other diseases. I hope it is successful.

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