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Where do we go from here?

Ed Rybicki ed at molbiol.uct.ac.za
Fri Oct 3 10:44:39 EST 1997

> From:          Mike Lamb <mikejonlamb at earthlink.net>
> Subject:       Re: Where do we go from here?

> My feeling? Prions are not alive but viruses are alive. 
> The essence of life is the replication of coded information.
> According to my understanding of prions, they are proteins which
> are folded into a useless state but they induce like proteins (of
> the same composition) into folding into the same useless state. In
> prions, mutations affect this pseudo-replication. I consider it
> like a chain of Dominoes. The prions do not really replicate, they
> undergo a chain reaction. 

Exactly correct...inasmuch as there is any useful definition of
"life", it would include the concept of  REPLICATION - which means
COPYING of the entire store of genetic  information of  the
organism.  NOT merely (!) inducing other  like-structured proteins
to change conformation.

                     Ed Rybicki, PhD  
      Dept Microbiology     |   ed at molbiol.uct.ac.za   
   University of Cape Town  | rybicki at uctvms.uct.ac.za
   Private Bag, Rondebosch  |  phone: x27-21-650-3265
      7700, South Africa    |   fax: x27-21-689 7573
    WWW URL: http://www.uct.ac.za/microbiology/ed.html      
"Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time..."

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