Shen_EC1 - Yueyue Shen Biomi 2900 extra credit Prions...

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Yueyue Shen Biomi 2900 – extra credit Prions Prions are responsible for causing variety of degenerative diseases that have infectious and hereditary origins. Although these diseases have emerged worldwide as a threat to human health, they are still not fully understood. This short paper will summarize our current understanding of the mechanisms behind prion transmission and replication. It will also discuss how prions infect host cells and cause disease symptoms. Two interesting aspects of prions are their mechanism of replication and infection. The primary method of prion infection is through ingestion. One example is that the people in New Guinea contracted Kuru from eating the dead brains of the deceased ancestors that contains prions. Once consumed, prions infect the host cell by changing the conformation of healthy host cells proteins (Cohen et. al 1994). According to Cohen et. al, the infectious proteins, under normal circumstances, convert the host cells’ normal proteins (PrPc) to the intermediate PrP*. Yet the concentration of PrP* is so low that few diseased prion proteins (PrPSc) are being
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This note was uploaded on 10/24/2010 for the course BIOMI 2911 at Cornell.

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Shen_EC1 - Yueyue Shen Biomi 2900 extra credit Prions...

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