what is alive

zauhar at elara.tripos.com zauhar at elara.tripos.com
Wed Sep 18 13:28:31 EST 1996


 
 Martijn Huynen wrote:

   > 
   > There is one fundamental difference between prions and viruses.
   > The latter evolve and adapt, whereas the former (as far as I
   > understand) do not.
   > This would make viruses more alife than prions.
   > 

  But at the same prions must evolve in a sense - mutations
 in the host protein might make the prion conformation unstable, thus acting
 as a lethal mutation for the prion. At the same time, another mutation might
 compensate for the first change, and restore the possibility of adopting the
 prion conformation. Thus the ability to carry the "information parasite" 
 is a product of the evolutionary process. Of course that is not the same
 thing as the prion "itself" adapting, since information needs a carrier
 if it is to undergo transformation. 

     Randy


All opinions expressed here are mine, not my employer's

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// 
\\ Randy J. Zauhar, PhD             | E-mail: zauhar at tripos.com        //
\\ Tripos, Inc.                     |       : zauhar at inlink.com        //
\\ 1699 S. Hanley Rd., Suite 303    |  Phone: (314) 647-1099 Ext. 3382 //
\\ St. Louis, MO 63144              |                                  //
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
**                                                                     **
**  "If you have conceptions of things that you can have no conception **
**   of, then the conception and the thing appear to co-incide."       **
**   --- C.G. Jung                                                     **
*************************************************************************



More information about the Mol-evol mailing list