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A prion (short for proteinaceous infectious particle) is a unique type of infectious agent, as it is made only of protein.

It is now commonly accepted that prions are responsible for a number of previously known but little-understood diseases generally classified under transmissible spongiform encephalopathy diseases (TSEs), including scrapie (a disease of sheep), Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Chronic Wasting Disease, Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease).

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Prion", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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