Prions are responsible for diseases as well known as mad cow disease or Creutzfeld-Jacob disease. But, as the researchers have seen, the very genetic information of our organism helps prions to cause diseases.
By eating foods contaminated by prions, the proteins in our body's nervous system deform and destroy. Consequently, the brain cannot function properly. But in science it is a great mystery how prions deform normal proteins, that is, how a healthy protein in principle becomes an evil prion. And, surprisingly, the RNA has a lot to say about it. Although it is not yet clear what exactly RNA does, scientists have assured that it helps prions transform the structure of healthy proteins.
This will help to better understand the disease, but especially to develop new diagnostic methods. In fact, diseases caused by prions cannot be detected by genetic methods, and, although in many cases the amount of prions in blood is sufficient for the development of the disease, it is too small to be detected by conventional methods. The addition of RNA to a patient's blood sample, however, increases about 12 times the amount of prions, making it easier to detect.