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Topic: Catalysts creating catalysts  (Read 8556 times)

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Offline Scratch-

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Catalysts creating catalysts
« on: July 12, 2004, 06:28:40 PM »
Just some random thought here... I was wondering if there are any catalysts that when mixed with certain chemicals create more of themselves, like this science fiction book someone told me about where there was this compound called Ice-9 or something that when put in water it would recreate itself. I have been told that the protein that causes mad cow disease alters other proteins to make more of itself like that.
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Offline Mitch

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Re:Catalysts creating catalysts
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2004, 07:40:17 PM »
The closest chemical phenomena to what your saying is called "self assembly".
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Offline Scratch-

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Re:Catalysts creating catalysts
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2004, 04:53:51 PM »
There’s some talk about nanotech self assembling itself, I recently read an article in the Popular Science magazine that they have made a plastic/metal substance that can bend and flex and go back into its original shape yet conduct electricity at the same time.
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Offline Donaldson Tan

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Re:Catalysts creating catalysts
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2004, 01:49:47 PM »
protein recreating protein? i tend to think of viral infection.. the virus inject its RNA into a healthy. The cellular environment faciliates the production of the viral RNA to re-create multiple virus inside the healthy cell..
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Re:Catalysts creating catalysts
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2004, 03:19:20 PM »
Not creating protein, modifying the existing protein to recreate itself.
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Offline Donaldson Tan

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Re:Catalysts creating catalysts
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2004, 01:38:19 PM »
I'm not sure if this reaction actually conforms to your definition of this special case:
Hydrogen Peroxide + Manganese(IV) Oxide => Manganese(II) cations + H2O

The manganese(II) cations formed will catalyse the above reaction to produce more manganese(II) cations which will provide furthur catalysis.
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Offline ATMyller

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Re:Catalysts creating catalysts
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2004, 01:41:33 AM »
Not creating protein, modifying the existing protein to recreate itself.
Mad cow's disease is spred by a complex protein known as prion. It's similar to a virus except it doesn't have any genetical code in form of nucleid acid.
It can seize cell's protein manufacturing mechanism and make it produce copies of itself. Prion however can't recreate copies on it's own using leftover proteins, it always needs a living cell.
Chemists do it periodically on table.

Offline Donaldson Tan

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Re:Catalysts creating catalysts
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2004, 01:53:04 AM »
I've no idea how the mechanics of Mad Cow Disease work out. I'm just wondering why the prion protein need a living cell. Is it because the living cell provide a conducive environment for the protein to work as it contains all the needed raw material and enzymes?
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Offline ATMyller

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Re:Catalysts creating catalysts
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2004, 02:13:31 AM »
I've no idea how the mechanics of Mad Cow Disease work out. I'm just wondering why the prion protein need a living cell. Is it because the living cell provide a conducive environment for the protein to work as it contains all the needed raw material and enzymes?
I think nobody knows for sure yet how prions actually work. One hypothesis is that prion can alter target proteins' conformation and making it a template for copies of prion. Then these copies would be produced by cell's protein manufacturing system.
Chemists do it periodically on table.

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Re:Catalysts creating catalysts
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2005, 03:36:45 AM »
interesting thought. I find the complexity of the situation astounding.  a metal complex that is capable of catalyzing its own creation from the surroundings... the structure of the complex would contain the ordered information required to produce itself.. oh brain hurts

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