Transplanting memory accomplished successfully in snails


Despite having numerous differences, there are a number of similarities as well when you look at the way how snail nerve cells actually work and how the human cells function. There has been a thing called memory transfer in the bottom of the science fiction’s heart for a long but now it is a thing of science fact.

A team of biologists successfully made their way in transplanting the memories in a snail by transferring a genetic information form known as RNA from one snail to the other. The snails were properly trained to grow their defensive reaction. When RNA was inserted into the system of the snails that had not undergone the process, they behaved as if they were sensitized.

The research that was published in the Journal eNeuro can now provide better ideas about the search for the physical basis of memory. RNA or Ribonucleic acid is a large molecule that is involved in numerous important roles in the biological organisms such as assembling of the proteins and how the genes express themselves in a more general manner. The long-term memories are considered to be stored at the synapses of the brain or the junctions between the nerve cells.

The marine snails or Aplysia Californica were given minor electric shocks by the scientists only after proper administration of the shocks. The defensive withdrawal reflex of the snail was exceptional to watch that they did to protect themselves from any harm. When the snails were tapped slowly by the researchers, the snails that received a shock displayed a slight contraction that lasted for 50 seconds but the ones without any shock treatment showed contractions only for one second.

The snails that received the minor shocks displayed sensitized reaction as the act of stimuli. The scientists removed the RNA from the nervous systems of the snails and injected it into the marine snails that never showed sensitization ever before.

The non-sensitized snails injected with the RNA behaved as if they received the shock themselves in their tail and displayed a defensive contraction for 40 seconds. Professor David Glanzman, renowned author from the University of California, Los Angeles says that the result was as though they had transferred the memory itself from one snail to the other.


About the author

Shivangi Sharma

Shivangi Sharma is a budding journalist who intends to build a bright career in the media industry. She is a health freak who loves to cover the latest news on health studies, besides science behind them.

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