Scientists Successfully Implant The Memory Of A Snail In The Brain Of Another

As it’s boldly explained by Live Science, researchers have managed to ‘suck’ the memory out of one snail, and implant it into another snail, in a revolutionary scientific achievement.

According to a new study, there is evidence that at least a small part of our memories are stored inside the genetic code. Scientists explain that their experiment has shown that certain memories are actually encoded inside molecules that make up an organisms’ genetic machinery.

If we lived in a world like the one described in The Matrix, learning new things would be as easy as downloading them to the brains.

Something similar has happened in a laboratory in Los Angeles.

A group of researchers has managed to transfer the memory of a trained snail to the mind of an untrained one. In other words, scientists have found a way to remove the memory from one animal, and implant it into another one, making the second animal remember things that only the first one knew.

The revolutionary feat was carried out through an injection of ribonucleic acid (RNA), an element known as a “cell messenger” that performs several important functions, such as protein coding.

For their experiment, the biologists used snails of the Aplysia species. Scientists applied electrical charges to the tail of the animals, which causes signals to be sent out through their simple nervous system. Eventually, the little fleshy flaps hanging from their little snail bellies retract explains LiveScience.

An illustration from Glanzman’s paper shows the transfer of RNA from one snail to another. Image Credit: David Glanzman/UCLA

Now, if you expose the snail to electrical discharges on a regular basis, the animal will remember it’s being zapped frequently, which will cause its parapodia to retract for longer periods of time. Scientists explain that is a simple behavior which s based off a memory.

In their scientific study published in the Journal eNeuro, UCLA scientists demonstrated that they can successfully ‘suck’ that memory out of one snail in the form of RNA and stick it in another.

Surprisingly, the snails that received the RNA from the snails that had been zapped began to behave as if they themselves had gone through that experience and experienced retractions that lasted around 40 seconds.

This breakthrough can help humans, say experts.

According to the scientists, research with RNA could help in the treatment of people with traumatic memories and even in the restoration of memory losses.

The complete study was published in the Journal eNeuro.

Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons