Conformational isomers and the brain

Guy Tremblay guy at harfang.login.qc.ca
Tue Jan 17 00:36:41 EST 1995


Hi!

	I read an article in the January '95 issue of Scientific American 
about PRIONS (proteinaceous infectious particle) disease. These new kinds 
of diseases are caused by conformational isomers of proteins present in 
the brain. These proteins, besides being pathogenic, are able to induce 
other proteins to adopt the same destructive conformation.
	I must say I was quite impressed by the discovery. I have a simple 
question: Is it possible that conformational isomers could be information
storing systems for the brain? Is it possible that these isomers would 
have been unnoticed by researchers? There exists no "conformational 
isomers detectors"... yet. Is it possible that proteins could be the brain 
RAM ( or ROM...) or am I totally out of it?

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*    Guy Tremblay            Universite du Quebec a Montreal              *
*        /\-/\               guy at harfang.login.qc.ca                      *
*  \\   ((O O))   //                                                      *
*   \\\  \\>//  ///          "But you musn't assume that a principle      *  
*    \\\\///\\////           that works at one level works at all levels" *
*                             P.W. Anderson                               * 
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