Bio notes section 3

Bio notes section 3 - Biology Notes Section 3 Lecture 4...

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Biology Notes Section 3: Lecture 4 Prions History: Kuru: a disease that struck the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea in the 20 th c. - Mostly women and children were affected by Kuru. - It is a neurological disorder characterized by: o Ataxia: lack of coordinated muscle movements. o Headaches, general incoordination, swallowing difficulties leading to choking/starvation, etc. o Myoclonus: jerks, tremors, twitches. - Autopsies showed big empty spaces in the brain of sufferers, giving it a spongy appearance. - There was no inflammation/ immune response. - Symptoms and scans seemed similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and also to scrapie , a neurological disease of sheep that had been long documented. Links began to be made - Scrapie was known to be infectious, so tests were run to see if CJD/ Kuru could be as well it was found they were in ways. - It was also found that all 3 had a slow incubation period. - The only known facts of these diseases led them to be named Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies. - Although scrapie is transmissible among sheep, it does not transmit to humans. It was discovered that the Fore people engaged in ritual cannibalism of their deceased, and that mostly women and children partook in eating the brain stew . Essentially, they were eating brains of people who actually died of Kuru.
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