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  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Education

Prying into Prions: Investigating Chronic Wasting Disease

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This supplemental unit for middle- and high-school students explores prion diseases, including chronic wasting disease. In six lessons, students learn about transmissible spongiform encephalopathies by examining the role of proteins in organisms, the chemistry and properties of proteins, the genetic processes that create proteins and how proteins can become pathogenic. Students also study how chronic wasting disease is affecting Illinois’ white-tailed deer herd and what control measures are being taken. Adapted by the IDNR Division of Education with permission from the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s original unit, the lessons are designed to be taught in sequence. A video is included. All lessons are correlated to the Next Generation Science Standards. This unit is produced in DVD format. It is only available to middle-school and high-school teachers in Illinois. Request should be made in writing on school letterhead and mailed to the IDNR Division of Education, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.