noun[mass noun] Medicine
A fatal disease of the brain occurring in some peoples in New Guinea and thought to be caused by a virus-like agent such as a prion.
- Among humans, the disease kuru, found in the south Pacific, was also shown to be transmissible.
- It should be noted, however, that kuru and Mad Cow are both caused by prions, rather than by bacteria or viruses.
- The incidence of kuru has decreased with the reduction of cannibalism, according to researchers who studied natives in New Guinea highlands.
1950s: a local word.
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