Is the cause of "prion" diseases a spiroplasma?

Marcello Spinella marshmallow at
Wed Nov 25 19:57:48 EST 1998

I believe the cause of prion diseases are most likely prion proteins
which undergo a conformational change by contact with another prion
protein.  This case hasn't been closed airtight, but they are the best
candidates for several reasons.  Thus prion diseases may be inherited or
transmissable (e.g. via corneal transplants, mad cows, etc).  See the
work of Gadjusek for this.  There is also an excellent book by Richard
Rhodes called "Deadly Feasts" which traces the discovery and study of
prion diseases.

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