Apr 3, 2019

By Far the Strangest Scientific Discovery of 2018: Your Memories Are a Viral Infection

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

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According to two papers published in Cell on January 11, 2018, the making of memories and the processes of learning resemble, of all things, a viral infection. It works like this: The shells that transport information between neurons are assembled by a gene called Arc. Experiments conducted by two research teams revealed that the Arc protein that forms a shell, functions much like a Gag, a gene that transports a virus’s genetic material between cells during an infection. For example, the retrovirus HIV uses a Gag in exactly this manner.

Scientific American:

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