4 doctors weighed in:

If a prion is just misfolded proteins, is it dead or alive? Does it have "life" encoded inside it?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Larry Lutwick
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
2 doctors agree

In brief: Metaphysically

Prions reproduce themselves by inducing the normally folded prion protein to misfold.
I would not think this is 'life' but it is open to interpretation.

In brief: Metaphysically

Prions reproduce themselves by inducing the normally folded prion protein to misfold.
I would not think this is 'life' but it is open to interpretation.
Dr. Larry Lutwick
Dr. Larry Lutwick
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Dr. Peter Glusker
Neurology

In brief: Prion

Prions are proteins that have changed conformation, so that the normal function of the protein inside the cells won't work.
The prions' also causes other normal proteins to misfold and make more prions, spreading the process. The prions affect many cells in the body, but they particularly harm nerve cells in the brain, causing progressive rapid degeneration. They are not alive, and have no dna.

In brief: Prion

Prions are proteins that have changed conformation, so that the normal function of the protein inside the cells won't work.
The prions' also causes other normal proteins to misfold and make more prions, spreading the process. The prions affect many cells in the body, but they particularly harm nerve cells in the brain, causing progressive rapid degeneration. They are not alive, and have no dna.
Dr. Peter Glusker
Dr. Peter Glusker
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