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A look at the "Rasputin of biology"

Brian Mossop's blog pick of the month - an entry about prions by Scientific American's Jennifer Frazer - is a really nice piece of writing. Calling them the "Rasputin of biology," she explains:

Prions - infectious misfolded proteins - have survived the pressure-cooker innards of autoclaves, the stout metal sterilizers that are the backbone of laboratory, hospital, and surgical sterilization. And they have survived for years in the punishing conditions of the outdoors - wind, cold, rain, snow, ice, heat, and ultraviolet radiation.

And the only organism that may be able to stop the "mad monk" of misfolded proteins? The lichen. To see the rest of the story, head over to Frazer's entry.

Photo with Rasputin at center from Wikimedia Commons

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