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Biochem Task 2

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Biochemistry Task 2
Ashlyn Verrecchio
October 13, 2015




E. F. Explain how bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) occurs at a molecular level by doing the following:
1. Explain the role of prions in BSE, including each of the following:
● how prions are formed – Prions are an abnormal form of a normally harmless protein that is found in the brain and responsible for a variety of fatal neurodegenerative disease.
● the connection between misfolding and aggregation – When a protein begins misfolding it can lead to the protein aggregating, or better known as accumulating and clumping together, which can often be toxic.
● how prions lead to the disease – Prions can be found in the food in which cows eat (specifically sheep brain), when ingested, the harmful prion eventually can cause other normal proteins to begin misfolding and aggregating and than turn into harmful prions; this can take a long period of time, which leads to the build-up of these prions which eventually can lead to neurodegeneration.
2. Explain one possible role of a chaperone protein in BSE, including each of the following:
● how chaperones normally act in the cell – they assist proteins to correctly fold/assemble inside the cell
● how a chaperone protein can contribute to BSE – a defect in molecular chaperone interactions may lead to further progression of the disease instead of correction of the misfolding
3. Recommend two ways that a country without regulations in place can decrease the risk of transmitting the prion involved in BSE (e.g., feeding practices, animal disposal). Two ways that a country without regulations can decrease the risk of transmission could include 1) product holding, where any cattle tested positive for BSE cannot be marked as “inspected and passed” to enter food supply until a BSE test is confirmed negative, or 2) banning all non-ambulatory animals from being able to enter the food supply, due to a symptom of BSE being difficulty walking. Taking these precautions could help further educate people in control of the food supply about ways to detect BSE and could also lower chances of transmission. G. -(2015, May 20). Retrieved October 10, 2015, from -Amino Acids. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2015, from
-Prions. (n.d.). Retrieved October 13, 2015, from
-The Structure of Proteins. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2015, from
-What You Need to Know About Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. (n.d.). Retrieved October 13, 2015, from

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