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Epigenetics in the Extreme: Prions and the Inheritance of Environmentally Acquired Traits

Randal Halfmann and Susan Lindquist
Science
New Series, Vol. 330, No. 6004 (29 October 2010), pp. 629-632
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40931709
Page Count: 4
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Epigenetics in the Extreme: Prions and the Inheritance of Environmentally Acquired Traits
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Abstract

Prions are an unusual form of epigenetics: Their stable inheritance and complex phenotypes come about through protein folding rather than nucleic acid–associated changes. With intimate ties to protein homeostasis and a remarkable sensitivity to stress, prions are a robust mechanism that links environmental extremes with the acquisition and inheritance of new traits.

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