2 Answers

  1. What are the criteria for the concept of “living organism”? Indicate the criteria and then you will see whether a particular phenomenon is covered or not. For example, in the case of such criteria:

    1. Breathes (exchange of substances with the outside world).

    2. Reproduces (reproduces its own kind).

    3. Grows (increases body weight to certain limits).

    Prions are not a living organism, since only point 2 is true for them, and the other two are false. But if we define the concept of a living organism as something that is capable of reproduction under certain circumstances, then yes, prions are a living organism, since they are able to reproduce their own kind in the event of encountering non-prion proteins of the same structure.)

    By the way, as for the question about viruses, they also do not fall under the first definition of a living organism, since they do not breathe and do not grow.

  2. With prions, everything is just as simple. They are inanimate molecules. In this sense, a similar question about viruses is much more interesting. Are they alive or not?

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