New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

Memory transferred between snails

California sea hare study demonstrates memory transfer via RNA

Date:
May 14, 2018
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Memories can be transferred between organisms by extracting ribonucleic acid (RNA) from a trained animal and injecting it into an untrained animal, as demonstrated in a study of sea snails.
Share:
FULL STORY

Memories can be transferred between organisms by extracting ribonucleic acid (RNA) from a trained animal and injecting it into an untrained animal, as demonstrated in a study of sea snails published in eNeuro. The research provides new clues in the search for the physical basis of memory.

Long-term memory is thought to be housed within modified connections between brain cells. Recent evidence, however, suggests an alternative explanation: Memory storage may involve changes in gene expression induced by non-coding RNAs.

David Glanzman tested the possibility that RNA from a trained California sea hare (Aplysia californica) can be used to create an engram -- the elusive substrate of memory -- in an untrained animal of the same species. The researchers sensitized some snails with tail stimulation that triggers an involuntary defensive reflex.

Extracting RNA from these trained animals and injecting it into untrained animals resulted in a similar sensitized response. The trained RNA also increased the excitability of cultured sensory neurons, obtained from untrained animals, which control this reflex. These findings raise the possibility that RNA could be used to modify memory.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alexis Bédécarrats, Shanping Chen, Kaycey Pearce, Diancai Cai, David L. Glanzman. RNA from Trained Aplysia Can Induce an Epigenetic Engram for Long-Term Sensitization in Untrained Aplysia. eneuro, 2018; ENEURO.0038-18.2018 DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0038-18.2018

Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Memory transferred between snails." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180514132450.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2018, May 14). Memory transferred between snails. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 16, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180514132450.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Memory transferred between snails." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180514132450.htm (accessed June 16, 2024).

Explore More

from ScienceDaily

MORE COVERAGE

RELATED STORIES