Scientists Transfer Memories From One Snail To Another. Could Be Possible For Humans In Future
What you might have seen in only the weirdest of sci-fi movies has actually happened in real life.
In a new study, published in the journal eNeuro, scientists from the University of California Los Angeles claim to have succeeded in taking a simple form of memory from one sea snail and implanting it in another.
Researchers effectively transplanted memories by transferring a form of genetic information called RNA (RNA stands for ribonucleic acid and just like DNA, RNA is vital for living beings) from specially trained snails to other snails that didn’t receive the training.
They also say that research may someday pave the way for similar processes in humans. The study could provide new clues to where memories are physically stored and how they can be altered.
“If memories were stored at synapses, there is no way our experiment would have worked,” said lead researcher Dr David Glanzman.
In the study’s abstract, researchers wrote: “It is generally accepted that long-term memory (LTM) is encoded as alterations in synaptic strength. An alternative model, however, proposes that LTM is encoded by epigenetic changes.”
The UCLA team suggests their research might allow us to, as the study states, “modify, enhance, or depress memories.”
How cool is that?