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I am investigating ways to reliably decontaminate instrumentation that has come into contact with mammalian prions. Chaotropic salts and extreme pH are good at inactivating prions by disaggregating the assemblies of PrP.

Also phenol is among the most effective "prionicidal" agents. I presume that this is because it flips hydrophobic side chains of proteins towards the solvent, thereby denaturing/disaggregating PrPSc. My questions are:

  1. is this true?
  2. if so, might other phenolic scaffolds/derivatives be even more effective for prion disinfection?
  3. and if so, which scaffolds might be most promising?
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  • $\begingroup$ It was proposed by a flagger that this would be more appropriate on Biology.SE. I'm inclined to think that it straddles the two sites' scopes, so I'd like to leave it here for now, but I'd like to hear from some of our star chemists. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Mar 10 '17 at 23:53

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