Memory and DNA

Chris Jones jonesc at cshl.org
Wed May 10 11:13:01 EST 1995


In article <Pine.SUN.3.90.950504075009.26476B-100000 at helmholtz>, "Joseph
J. Strout" <strout at helmholtz> wrote:

> Readers of this topic may be interested in the April 7 issue of _Cell_, 
> where (according to Science News Vol. 147 P. 253) Jerry Yin et al. at 
> Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have been genetically manipulating fruit 
> flies.  Last October, they formed a mutant strain that failed tests of 
> long-term (more than 7 days) memory.  The current work reports a 
> different mutation, which allows flies to learn in a single (count 'em) 
> trial what normal flies require 10 trials to learn.  To me, this is a 
> really amazing demonstration of a relationship between genes and memory.

FWIW, this work involves transgenes of specific isoforms of CREB
(cAMP-Responsive Element Binding protein), rather than mutants. The first
paper showed that increasing the level of the "blocker" isoform in normal
flies interferes with memory formation; the more recent one shows that
elevated levels of the "activator" isoform enable the animals to learn in
a single trial what normally takes 10 trials.

-- 
Chris Jones (jonesc at cshl.org)
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Fight Ignorance -- Whack a Politician



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