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Provocative prions may protect yeast cells from stress
Prions have a notorious reputation. They cause neurodegenerative disease, namely mad cow/Creutzfeld-Jakob disease. And the way these protein particles propagate—getting other proteins to join the pile—can seem insidious.
Yet prion formation could represent a protective response to stress, research from Emory University School of Medicine and Georgia Tech suggests.
…Other investigators studying yeast prions have been finding examples of how they may help cells adapt to a changing environment. The Emory/Georgia Tech findings are consistent with this idea, Chernova says.