Welcome back to know more about microbes – viruses,
bacteria etc.,!

Hey! Wait! Here comes the most frightening, dreadful,
doomsday-sooth-saying (the end of the world this
December of 2012 – Mayan Calendaric) part of my
extracts on disease-producing / pathogenic agents
including micro-organisms / microbes!

Fasten your seat belts! Steady your hearts! The faint-hearted
and weak-minded amongst you do please skip these paras!

The next few paragraphs concern another large group of
deadly disase – causing agents / pathogens, too small to be
called viruses, though grouped with viroids (causing mostly
plant diseases and only one human disease, Hepatitis – D)
as “sub-viral particles” and hence called by a special name,
“Prions”, coined in 1982 by Stanley B. Prusiner, ((from
(a reordering of) the initial letters of “Proteinaceous
Infectious particle”, indicating that they are composed
primarily of protein only and no nucleic acid – RNA / DNA
essential for duplication / reproduction)) initially, like many
good things in the past, received with derision from
Prusiner’s contemporaries / rivals who tried their best ,
albeit unsuccessfuly,for nearly 13 years, to kill Prusiner’s
concept of prions, which are themselves deadly killers of
mankind, other animals and plants and organisms and,
what is more, are ubiquitous / omnipresent / omnivalent /
and almost ever-lasting, albeit invisibly, around us and
cannot be got rid of by any composting / germicide /
sterilisation etc., currently available / known to mankind!

The history of Prions dates back to the important (negative)
discovery in 1960s, by the South-African born (lady) physicist
and radiobiologist, Tikvah Alper(1909-95), working in the UK
and the famous English mathematician John Stanley Griffith
(1928- 1972) (nephew of Pneumococcus – Pabulum fame
Fred Griffith / Frederick Griffith (c. 1879–1941) that the
infective agent in scrapie ((“Scraping / Scratching Disease”),
known since the 18th century (1732) as a fatal, degenerative
disease that affects the nervous systems of sheep and goats
as one of several transmissible spongiform encephalopathies
(TSEs), which are related to bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE or “mad cow disease” which swept
and took more than 200 human lives in Europe and America
eventually tracked down to eating food contaminated with
the brain, spinal cord or digestive tract of infected cattle
carcasses / infected beef / high-risk offal from infected cows
and could be controlled only by ruthlessly slaughtering,
during the massive eradication program in 1989, to save
mankind from total annihilation by the measly prion, as many
as 4.4 million infected cattle) and chronic wasting disease
of deer, wherein affected animals will compulsively scrape
off their fleeces against rocks, trees or fences as the
disease apparently causes an itching sensation in the
animals)) could not be a virus or other eukaryotic structure
but was indeed an infectious agent consisting solely of
proteins (No DNA / RNA!), in a misfolded form, which could
mimic viral and bacterial pathogens with respect to the
transmission of some incurable and rapidly and surely fatal
nervous system diseases and made it clear that proteins
can also serve as genetic elements just like the Nucleic
Acids, DNA and RNA, do.

As a staunch lover of ancient (not recent! – recent are trash!)
Hindi movie songs, I am reminded, by the tiny, weeny, measly
prions trying to annihilate the mighty mankind, of the
pulsating scenario of the Hindi song, “Nirbhal Se Ladaayee
Balwaan Ki ((the winning fight of the meek (Boy David, with
a mere catapult and tiny pebbles to throw with it) against
the mighty (Giant / Goliath wielding massive clubs and what
not))” in the 1956 Hindi movie, “Toofan Aur Diya (Storm
and Lamp)” of how a tiny little oil-wick hand lamp like a
candle (“Diya” in Hindi) fought, stood against and stopped
a mighty cyclonic storm (“Toofaan” in Hindi)! Sing along
with the nectar-like sweet voice of Manna (whose
Birth-name was Prabodh Chandra but a later-given
symbolic name “Manna”=Nectar) Dey (Family name)
under the great Hindi Music Director, Vasant Desai,
“Nirbhal Se Ladaayee Balwaan Ki!
Yeh Kahani Hai Diye Ki Aur Toofan Ki !”!

The singing will definitely lighten your mind frightened
by the above facts about the killer prions vs us – mankind!

More on prions, viruses etc., in the pages to follow!

So long then! Sayonaaraa, as the Japanese wish off!


About Loga muthu krishnan

I am a 70 year old Neurosurgeon just started Non-Profit blogs under WordPress, Google Bloggerspot, webs.com, Facebook, http://logamuthu.tumblr.com/etc., entitled "Positive Health For All" disseminating useful health information free of cost over the internet(Absolutely NO promotions of persons (including me), brands, hospitals, books etc.,). My blogs are:https://krishnanlogamuthu.wordpress.com/, http://gtieve.blogspot.com, http://logamuthu.webs.com/ http://logamuthu.tumblr.com/ http://www.facebook.com/logumuthu.krishnan

One response »

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s