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Memory successfully transplanted in snails

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posted on May, 17 2018 @ 01:54 PM
Hi all!

Recently, I was thinking about how fast science and technology are progressing, pretty much exponentially. So I was expecting more big leaps in the near future.

Well, I just stumbled into something that fits the bill. A team of scientists has succeeded in transplanting the memory of one snail into another snail via extraction and injection of RNA in the nervous system.

This all reminds me of epigenetics, which is about traits acquired from experience during life being passed on to offspring genetically, and that is fascinating too..

Here is a link to the article, and below a few quotes:

A team successfully transplanted memories by transferring a form of genetic information called RNA from one snail into another.
The snails were trained to develop a defensive reaction.
When the RNA was inserted into snails that had not undergone this process, they behaved just as if they had been sensitised.
The research, published in the journal eNeuro, could provide new clues in the search for the physical basis of memory.

Traditionally, long-term memories were thought to be stored at the brain's synapses, the junctions between nerve cells. Each neuron has several thousand synapses.
But Prof Glanzman said: "If memories were stored at synapses, there is no way our experiment would have worked."
The UCLA professor of integrative biology holds a different view, believing that memories are stored in the nuclei of neurons. The paper might support hints from studies conducted decades ago that RNA was involved in memory.

This is another one of those technological advances that could be used for good or for bad.. Manchurian candidate comes to mind. But here's some good news:

The researchers see this result as a step towards alleviating the effects of diseases such as Alzheimer's or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


posted on May, 17 2018 @ 02:24 PM
Well that is a whole can of worms!

Genetic memory?

More crazy conspiracy talk that is looking to be true.

Makes me think that day to day activities may involve activation of dna parts coming together to create memories?

posted on May, 17 2018 @ 02:36 PM
Those memories are already there, just that we cannot get hold of them yet.

posted on May, 17 2018 @ 02:48 PM
If our memories are stored in our DNA, omnipotence is possible...

posted on May, 17 2018 @ 03:00 PM

The researchers gave mild electric shocks to the tails of a species of marine snail called Aplysia. The snails received five tail shocks, one every 20 minutes, and then five more 24 hours later. The shocks enhance the snail’s defensive withdrawal reflex, a response it displays for protection from potential harm. When the researchers subsequently tapped the snails, they found those that had been given the shocks displayed a defensive contraction that lasted an average of 50 seconds, a simple type of learning known as “sensitization.” Those that had not been given the shocks contracted for only about one second.

The life scientists extracted RNA from the nervous systems of marine snails that received the tail shocks the day after the second series of shocks, and also from marine snails that did not receive any shocks. Then the RNA from the first (sensitized) group was injected into seven marine snails that had not received any shocks, and the RNA from the second group was injected into a control group of seven other snails that also had not received any shocks.

Remarkably, the scientists found that the seven that received the RNA from snails that were given the shocks behaved as if they themselves had received the tail shocks: They displayed a defensive contraction that lasted an average of about 40 seconds.

“It’s as though we transferred the memory,” said Glanzman, who is also a member of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute.

As expected, the control group of snails did not display the lengthy contraction. - UCLA biologists ‘transfer’ a memory.

A conditioned response "known as 'sensitization'" (same source), may or may not be a true "memory" but it is still impressive!

Combine it with this other news story..., May 3, 2018 - Brain circuit helps us learn by watching others: Scientists pinpoint neural interactions that are necessary for observational learning.

Then you really have something cooking! Get some RNA injected, watch a video, and you can fly a helicopter, just like in that crappy sci-fi movie from 1999, The Matrix!!

(Disclaimer: I like the first one!)

posted on May, 17 2018 @ 03:49 PM

Thanks for the interesting additional info!

Psychology is still in its infancy, but the technology involved is mind-blowing (pun intended :-)


posted on May, 17 2018 @ 04:31 PM
This is interesting, thanks. It could explain how instinct works.

posted on May, 17 2018 @ 09:26 PM

originally posted by: soulwaxer
The researchers see this result as a step towards alleviating the effects of diseases such as Alzheimer's or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How could this alleviate Alzheimer's? Are we supposed to believe we can grind up brains, inject the RNA into someone and restore their memories?

It's interesting that they did this but I think those Alzheimer's or post traumatic stress disorder claims are kind of bogus.

posted on May, 18 2018 @ 03:56 PM
Yep, I fully believe it....

Just watched the 2 seasons of 'Travelers' on Netflix.

posted on May, 18 2018 @ 04:11 PM
a reply to: soulwaxer

When the zombie apocalypse comes we'll all be eating brains. Imagine how smart we'll be. In fact, this does sound like iZombie.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 10:24 AM
a reply to: soulwaxer

reminds me a little of the University of WASHINGTON experiments with crows.

there Might be a thread around here somewhere. but it seems to prove genetic, intergenerational memory. and the crows can actually access theirs. They can look at a person's face and know if that person harassed their ancestors.

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