SUMMARY: Saline extracts of mouse-scrapie brain homogenates lost little infectivity when heated at 75° for one hour. At higher temperatures, there was a progressive inactivation of the agent, although some of the infectivity still remained after heating at 100° for one hour. The smooth shape of the inactivation curve suggests that the scrapie agent exists predominantly in a single heat-stable form. Ultrasonic disruption of scrapie mitochondrial suspensions altered the chromatographic behaviour of the scrapie agent in a way which suggests that the free agent is relatively small. The agent associates very readily with denatured proteinaceous material and because of this property it has not yet been possible to separate it effectively from contaminating tissue debris.


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