prions


In biology, prions are cellular molecules that, despite not being viruses, have infectious characteristics. In short, prions are not living specimens, they are just proteins that lack a nucleic acid. This infectious agent has the ability to cause so-called prion diseases, which represent a group of degenerative encephalopathies that harm the brain and nervous system.

This term was first made known by a professor of neurology and biochemistry at the University of California (United States) named Stanley B. Prusiner who, when conducting studies on a set of chronic and irreversible diseases that ended up damaging the central nervous system, He found these infectious proteins that cause various neurological diseases.

Prions have a molecular structure that works on the body’s proteins, transforming them into new prions, which in turn increase the infection. A prion is a misfolded protein that generates ongoing neurodegenerative conditions. As already stated, When a prion is introduced into a totally healthy organism, it works on the common form of the same kind of protein that exists in said organism, forming more prions and causing a chain reaction, producing large amounts of prions.

The incubation stage of prion disorders is usually determined by the rate of exponential development, associated with prion replication.

Prions are very harmful particles for any type of animal, since they are the cause of transmittable diseases among mammals, as is the case of the famous “mad cow” disease, which affects cattle and can spread to humans, if they consume their infected meat.