< h2 >Prions< /h2 >
< p >Prions are infectious agents composed entirely of misfolded proteins. These abnormal proteins have the ability to induce other normal proteins to adopt the same incorrect structure. Unlike viruses, bacteria, or fungi, prions do not contain any genetic material such as DNA or RNA.

< h3 >Characteristics of Prions< /h3 >
< ul >
< li >Proteinaceous: Prions are made up of protein and lack genetic material.

< li >Infectious: They can transmit diseases between individuals by inducing normal prion proteins to misfold.

< li >Resistance: Prions are highly resistant to common sterilization methods such as heat, radiation, or chemicals.

< li >Neurodegenerative: Prion diseases primarily affect the nervous system, leading to severe neurological symptoms.

< li >Transmissible: Prion diseases can be acquired through various routes, including ingestion, inhalation, or inheritance.

< /ul >
< h3 >Prion Diseases< /h3 >
< p >Prions are associated with a group of rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorders known as prion diseases. Examples of prion diseases include:

< ul >
< li >Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)

< li >Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD)

< li >Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker Syndrome (GSS)

< li >Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI)

< /ul >
< h3 >Impact on Organisms< /h3 >
< p >Prions cause damage to the brain and other neural tissues, leading to the formation of abnormal protein aggregates. This results in the degeneration and death of neurons, ultimately causing severe neurological symptoms and, in most cases, fatality. Prion diseases have been observed in various animals, including humans.

< h3 >Research and Controversies< /h3 >
< p >Prions have been the subject of extensive research due to their unique properties and devastating impact. However, there are still many uncertainties and controversies surrounding prion diseases, including the mechanisms of prion propagation, diagnosis, and potential treatments.