A spring surprise: computational analysis unearths potential prions in plants

Biosystems Analytics

With warm weather finally kicking in in New England, it was nice to get a Spring surprise in the form of a new paper on prions seeing the light of day.  Prions are particular kind of protein that propagate by imbuing an altered shape, or “confirmation”, on other proteins of the same type.  They essentially act as a kind of protein “zombie”, and there has been some speculation that they may support a kind of “memory function” due to their ability to transmit state across generations.  Prions were first discovered in the context of diseases like scrapie and variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease (vCJD) but have shown up in all kinds of unexpected places, such as yeast and possibly – providing the aforementioned Spring suprise – plants.  Scientific American has a nice blog post on a recently-published study  from the Whitehead Institute, authored by Sohini Chakrabortee, Can Kayatekin, Greg…

View original post 339 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s