A group of scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles, says to be able to transfer a memory from the brain of a mollusk to another, thus creating an artificial memory, and this could be a start for a possible cure for Alzheimer’s.
In Great.guru, we tell you more about this amazing advance of science in this article.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
We’ve all heard that name a thousand times, but most do not understand how the mechanism of this disease. We know that a person with Alzheimer’s ends up losing the memory, but why? In fact, the scientists themselves know what it is that triggers it off. According to the existing versions, it may be the exposure to aluminum, the consumption of gluten, a metabolic disorder, among other options. But the fact is that, little by little, the patient’s brain begins to lose neurons and connections between them, accumulating also known as amyloid plaque, losing slowly his memories.
What is the experiment?
The team of scientists specializing in biology from the UCLA managed to move the memory of the brain of a mollusk to another, thus building an artificial memory. This was done by injection of RNA (ribonucleic acid) of a marine snail in another of the same species.
For this experiment, resorted to an exemplary animal whose scientific name is Aplysia.
One of the features of this animal invertebrate is that it has a nervous system that has thousands of neurons of large size in comparison with other animals similar, and this allows for the implantation of electrodes with greater simplicity.
The molluscs used for this test received ten electrical discharges in a span of 24 hours in order to generate a memory. The reflex defense of these snails grew. Then, this mechanism of protection, which lasted almost a minute, it began to produce also to the touch.
Then, they removed the RNA from the nervous system of the mollusks that had been recipients of the electric shocks as well as the control subjects. The RNA of the first group was transferred by an injection in seven snails that had not been recipients of any download, and the of the second cluster (a group of molluscs control) was transferred to seven snails that had not been recipients of these shocks.
These biologists noted that the molluscs that had received the RNA of the pulmonate receptors of discharges passed to behave as if they had been they who received the electricity: they showed a defensive reaction of a duration of 40 seconds.
This experiment is of great importance, since scientists believe that in a future not very distant will be able to use RNA for awakening the memories dormant in people who suffer from the first stage of Alzheimer’s.
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