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Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSFs)

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a cluster of rare degenerative brain disorders. Also known as “prion” diseases, they leave their victims with tiny holes in the brain. The tiny holes give it a “spongy” appearance that can be seen under a microscope when a section of brain is dissected. Prion is short for proteinaceous infectious particle. The particle is a protein that occurs in a harmless normal form in the body's cells. However, deadly prion proteins are the proteins that can cause the disease. TSEs are transmissible because the deadly prion protein is acquired from an alien source. Researchers are examining the possibility that TSEs are also infectious. There are many forms of TSEs including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Kuru (“laughing sickness”), fatal familial insomnia (FFI), ...

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