There are 2 definitions of prion in English:

prion1

Line breaks: prion
Pronunciation: /ˈprʌɪən
 
/

noun

  • A small petrel of southern seas, having a wide bill fringed with comb-like plates for feeding on planktonic crustaceans.
    • Genus Pachyptila, family Procellariidae: six species
    More example sentences
    • In addition to the wandering, we also were entranced by royal and shy albatrosses, as well as Cape and giant petrels, fairy prions and fluttering shearwaters.
    • It is generally accepted that the Family Procellariidae can be split into four broad groupings; the fulmars (Fulmarus), the gadfly-petrels (Pterodroma), the prions (Pachyptila) and the shearwaters (Puffinus).
    • The prions currently comprise six rather similar looking species of Pachyptila prion together with the Blue Petrel.

Origin

mid 19th century: modern Latin (former genus name), from Greek priōn 'a saw' (referring to its sawlike bill).

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Word of the day tortie
Pronunciation: ˈtôrtē
noun
a tortoiseshell cat

There are 2 definitions of prion in English:

prion2

Line breaks: prion
Pronunciation: /ˈpriːɒn
 
/

noun

Microbiology
  • A protein particle that is believed to be the cause of brain diseases such as BSE, scrapie, and CJD. Prions are not visible microscopically, contain no nucleic acid, and are highly resistant to destruction. Compare with virino.
    More example sentences
    • Twisted forms of brain proteins called prions spread the disease, making normal proteins misfold.
    • The means of transmission is of particular concern because the protein nature of prions makes them extremely resistant to conventional means of disinfection and sterilization.
    • For many years after their discovery as the agents of some rare neurodegenerative diseases in mammals, such as scrapie in sheep and human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and kuru, prions have remained a truly esoteric research topic.

Origin

1980s: by rearrangement of elements from pro(teinaceous) in(fectious particle)..

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