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Prions may protect yeast cells from stress

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posted on Jan, 24 2017 @ 10:53 AM
Prions do cause nasty incurable diseases like Mad cow/Creutzfeld-Jakob disease - but they also help cells deal with stress, and adapt to changing environments - and may play a significant role in adaptation and evolution. Much research news is coming out about these two seemingly contradictory prion roles.

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.

posted on Jan, 24 2017 @ 03:42 PM
a reply to: soficrow

Interesting, Going out on a limb here, but I wonder if this means there were some benefits to cannibalism? I know it's always been spoken of as being bad but obviously we haven't done all the science on prions.

posted on Jan, 24 2017 @ 05:34 PM
a reply to: WorShip

Hmmm. Interesting thought.

Maybe some folk wisdom there?

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