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From molecules to memories

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From molecules to memories

Postby fsm » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:18 pm

Scientists have used advanced imaging techniques to provide a window into how the brain makes memories. These insights into the molecular basis of memory were made possible by a technological tour de force never before achieved in animals: a mouse model in which molecules crucial to making memories were given fluorescent “tags” so they could be observed traveling in real time in living brain cells.

Watching molecules morph into memories: Breakthrough allows scientists to probe how memories form in nerve cells
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Re: From molecules to memories

Postby Helix » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:30 pm

How good is science?! Beats all that woo, mumbo jumbo, 'other ways of knowing' business hands down. You can marvel at both the product and the process.

And the fluorescent proteins are turning out to be an extraordinarily useful tool for physiology. Great stuff!
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Re: From molecules to memories

Postby Milieu intérieur » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:06 pm

Interesting research.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 141711.htm

"..But that observation raised a question: How do neurons prevent these newly liberated mRNAs from making more beta-actin protein than is desirable? "Ms. Buxbaum made the remarkable observation that mRNA's availability in neurons is a transient phenomenon," said Dr. Singer. "She saw that after the mRNA molecules make beta-actin protein for just a few minutes, they suddenly repackage and once again become masked. In other words, the default condition for mRNA in neurons is to be packaged and inaccessible."

These findings suggest that neurons have developed an ingenious strategy for controlling how memory-making proteins do their job. "This observation that neurons selectively activate protein synthesis and then shut it off fits perfectly with how we think memories are made," said Dr. Singer. "Frequent stimulation of the neuron would make mRNA available in frequent, controlled bursts, causing beta-actin protein to accumulate precisely where it's needed to strengthen the synapse."
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