Genetic material of all known

Genetic material of all known - Thought to be infectious...

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Genetic material of all known "living" organisms DNA Viruses (which are infectious agents and non-living) may use DNA or RNA Genetic information encoded in the sequence of the bases in nucleic acids Required Properties of Genetic Material: 1) Ability to store genetic information and express it in the cell as needed. 2) Ability to transfer information to daughter cells with minimal error. 3) Physical and chemical stability. 4) Potential for heritable change without major loss of information. Biological dogma: Genetic material always nucleic acid But: Prions! Theory: Some infectious diseases are caused by protein particles called prions and not by particles with nucleic acids like viruses, bacteria or eukaryotes. But how can they replicate, how can they increase in number and infect other organisms?
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Unformatted text preview: Thought to be infectious material that causes several degenerative neurological diseases like scrapie in sheep, mad-cow-disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. No virus or bacterium ever found correlated with diseases. Brain degenerates, animals cannot control body and act "mad". Known: Prions are particles primarily of a cell-own protein that is misfolded. But they can interact with normally folded proteins and change them into misfolded ones. Injected into brain they can cause disease. No nucleic acid found in prion particles! Unknown: Exactly how they replicate. Appears to be misfolding of native proteins through chaperone function...
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This document was uploaded on 11/03/2011 for the course BIOLOGY MCB2010 at Broward College.

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