Prions, derived from “proteinaceous infectious particle," are a family of mis-folded proteins which can infect normally shaped ones. This term was coined by its discoverer, Stanley B. Prusiner, an American neurologist. Unlike viruses and bacteria, prion proteins (PrP) have no DNA nor RNA. Prion diseases generally affect the brain; the most common forms are Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Kuru disease.

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