Prions more mobile than thought

Disease agents can jump from one species to another

By Rebecca Cheung, 14:26 PM January 26, 2012

The protein-based pathogens known as prions may pass between different species more easily than has been thought, a team of French researchers reports in the Jan. 27 Science. By infecting engineered mice with prions from cows and goats, scientists also have shown that the invaders readily target tissues other than the brain.

“We may underestimate the threat posed by some of these diseases by focusing only on the brain,” says Pierluigi Gambetti, a prion researcher at Case Western Reserve Uni...

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