ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Prion diseases, which occur in humans include Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Kuru and Gerstmann-Straussler syndrome, fatal insomnia syndrome, spastic paraparesis and progressive dementia syndrome. Prions are aggregates of protein rods that contain either DNA or RNA. They represent the most chemically resistant and untreatable of all infectious diseases. Most known disinfectants are ineffective. The recommended method of sterilisation is autoclaving for 4.5 hours at 15 psi and a temperature of 121°C. Autoclaving in 1 mol/l sodium hydroxide for 1.5 hours is also effective.68


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