Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Prion diseases

  1. Sep 16, 2008 #1
    Does anyone know what progress is being made in finding treatments for prion diseases like mad cow disease and vCJD? Or if any steps are being made in that direction? I've heard of some work at UCL regarding prions. I'd really like to be able to eat beef again.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2008 #2

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    There's a reasonably well-established link between prion diseases and amyloid proteins.

    I was at a talk last year that pointed out something interesting: amyloid proteins that are misfolded into a shape that allows the assembly of plaques are more stable than 'correctly' folded proteins. In addition, a misfolded amyloid protein is able to cause a correctly folded (identical) protein to misfold to the state of lower energy.

    It sounds like prion/amyloid diseases are like "Ice 9", in a literal sense.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook