Prions Capable of Evolution

From The Four Part Land, this article is pretty amazing - how Prions, misfolded and lifeless proteins actually undergo Darwinian evolution.

Lifeless Prions Capable Of Evolutionary Change And Adaptation

Research may point to more effective therapeutic targets for deadly prion diseases (file image only)
by Staff Writers
Jupiter FL (SPX) Jan 04, 2010
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have determined for the first time that prions, bits of infectious protein devoid of DNA or RNA that can cause fatal neurodegenerative disease, are capable of Darwinian evolution.

The study from Scripps Florida in Jupiter shows that prions can develop large numbers of mutations at the protein level and, through natural selection, these mutations can eventually bring about such evolutionary adaptations as drug resistance, a phenomenon previously known to occur only in bacteria and viruses. These breakthrough findings also suggest that the normal prion protein - which occurs naturally in human cells - may prove to be a more effective therapeutic target than its abnormal toxic relation.


Rest of the article:
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Lifeless_Prions_Capable_Of_Evolutionary_Change_And_Adaptation_999.html

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