Introduction to Viruses
Are There Infectious Agents Simpler Than Viruses?
Viroids and prions are even more simple than viruses. Viroids have only nucleic acid without a protein coat, while prions are composed of protein but do not contain any associated nucleic acid. Viroids can cause plant diseases, such as potato tuber spindle disease and apple scar skin disease. Prions cause mad cow disease and related diseases in humans and animals.
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Video and transcript courtesy of Wah Chiu, PhD, National Center for Macromolecular Imaging at Baylor College of Medicine. Funding for the video provided by NCMI, NIH.