Prions jump species barrier : Nature News

From Nature News:

Infectious prion proteins from hamsters can change normal proteins from mice into new, infectious forms of prion – simply by mixing the proteins together in a test tube. Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston suggest their discovery could be turned into a useful test for whether a given prion strain is transmissible from one species to another. But they also found that when a prion jumps species, it produces a new kind of prion. “This is very worrisome,” says Claudio Soto, who led the research, published in Cell1. “The universe of possible prions could be much larger than we thought. [Prions jump species barrier]