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Researchers have found a way to transfer memories in snails via injection

Researchers have found a way to transfer memories in snails via injection

Including RNA from a marine snail that was not given the tail stuns did not deliver this expanded edginess in tactile neurons.

Scientists believe they have successfully transplanted the memory of snails into other snails.

But there are many different types of RNA, and Glanzman's team plans to do more research to figure out determine which types most directly impact memory.

"It's as though we transferred the memory", said the study's senior author, David Glanzman, from the University of California, Los Angeles.

The research, published in the journal eNeuro, could provide new clues in the search for the physical basis of memory.

For this goal, the injection of specific ribonucleic acids. It is now understood to have other important functions besides protein coding, including regulation of a variety of cellular processes involved in development and disease.

But Ryan added that radical thinking about memory was sorely needed: "In a field like this which is so full of dogma, where we are waiting for people to retire so we can move on, we need as many new ideas as possible". By repeatedly shocking the snail's tail, the animal learns to stay in that defensive position when touched on the siphon, even weeks after the shocks end.

According to the BBC, the team observed that sensitized snails had a defensive contraction of up to 50 seconds, whereas the specimens that weren't familiar with the electric shock only contracted for about a second. Those that had not been given the shocks contracted for only about one second. Curiously, the specialists found, including RNA from the snails that had been given stuns likewise created expanded volatility in tactile neurons in a Petri dish; it didn't do as such in engine neurons. The snails had been "sensitised" to the shock.

Scientists extracted RNA from the nervous systems of the snails that received the shocks and injected it into a small number of marine snails that had not been sensitised in this way.

The team wanted to test whether they could transfer "memories" to make untrained snails react the same way as the trained ones. Unsurprisingly, this control group showed no signs of sensitization.

In a statement for The Guardian, Glanzman commented on the nature of the experiment, noting that the type of memories that were transplanted from one snail to another was crucial to the success of the procedure. RNA from shocked snails also enhanced a subset of synapses between sensory and motor neurons in vitro, suggesting it was indeed the RNA that transported the memory, Glanzman explains. He found that introducing the RNA directly to the neurons "increased (their) excitability". "Obviously further work needs to be carried out to determine whether these changes are robust and what are the underlying mechanisms", said Prof Seralynne Vann, who studies memory at Cardiff University.

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