Proper form – Letter to the Editor
I found the piece “Drugs counter mad cow agent in cells” (SN: 8/18/01, p. 100) quite accurate and balanced. However, I must take issue with the legend to the figure. What the figure shows is the three-dimensional structure of the normal prion protein and not the “deadly structure of a prion.” Prion is the name given to the infectious agent causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, and it is generally accepted that it consists partly or entirely of a misfolded form of prion protein. The structure of the misfolded form has not yet been elucidated.
Imperial College School of Medicine
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