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A spongiform encephalopathy of sheep. It is caused by a prion that produces progressive neurological deterioration, one symptom of which is to make the sheep scrape their fleece against posts, tree trunks, etc., apparently to relieve itching, thus the name of the disease. The prion that causes scrapie appears to have “jumped species” from sheep to cattle, where it causes mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Subjects: Chemistry — Medicine and Health.

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