IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

Where do we go from here?

Alb=E9 van der Merwe ZA vdmerwea at intekom.co.za
Fri Oct 3 14:48:32 EST 1997


Hi, all.

I've been watching the discussion on whether viruses are alive or not
(actually, I asked the question!), and noted that the topic of prions wer=
e
also introduced. I agree that a prion should not be called "alive", becau=
se
that argument would be futile - you'd have to see every protein as an
organism! I rather think of prions as organic molecules whose precise
origin and function has not been determined yet, but will be eventually.

Staying on this topic: would the "deadness" of a prion not also infer tha=
t
state on a virus? Afterall, the virus only replicates when associated wit=
h
a host, not all by itself. So the extracellular virus is also dead? Or is
it just latent? I don't think it's latent because we can only call it tha=
t
when it has the capacity to rapidly and unexpectedly start to replicate
(and that mostly happens only after insertion into the host genome).

The discussion completed another circle...

Albe (Meteorite)






More information about the Virology mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net