You Must Remember This

Brian zhil at
Sun Oct 14 15:22:46 EST 2001

"Michael Jameson" <m.jameson at> skrev i melding
news:3BC9B655.E545C259 at
> There was an article in the New Scientist of Sept 15 titled "You Must
> Remember This", about the possiblility of DNA having a role in memory. I
> can't summarise the three pages well - and there are dissenting opinions
> quoted - but I will quote sentences which seem to demonstrate the
> essential thesis:
> "To lock a memory in place, most researchers say you need to shore up
> its synaptic connections... But building permanent, stable connections
> is no simple process. Nearly all of the brain's molecules, including
> those that form the neural connections, are replaced every week or two.
> How long-lasting memories can be stored with such distinctly impermanent
> media has confounded theorists for years. The problem, says
> neurobiologist Sandra Pena de Ortiz... is that molecular turnover would
> eventually degrade these structural proteins... Electron microscopes
> have also shown how far from stable neuroins are. Their outstretched
> branches move from day to day... you could keep rebuilding the same
> structures, but how would you know what to rebuild and where?... what's
> needed is some sort of archived blueprint for each acquired
> experience... "We believe that permanent memories are stored in altered
> genes," says Pena. In the same way that DNA provides a blueprint for the
> proteins that make up living cells, Pena and her colleague Yuri
> Arshavsky... believe that new 'memory molecules' are born when altered
> gene sequences are translated into proteins. They're not suggesting that
> we make a new protein in the split second it takes to recall a memory.
> "What I call molecules of memory," explains Pena, "are used to stabilise
> networks of memory neurons." When a specific network is stabilised, so
> is a particular memory."
> I'd appreciate hearing any comment on this article or the general idea.
> The paper that is the main focus of the article is "DNA recombination as
> a possible mechanism in declarative memory" by Sandra Pena de Ortiz and
> Yuri Arshavsky, Journal of Neuroscience Research, vol 63, p 72 (2001). A
> second paper is also suggested as further reading, for which I found the
> reference and abstract -
> Journal of Theoretical Biology 2001 Jan 21;208(2):145-9
> "Memory and DNA."
> Dietrich A, Been W.
> Institute of Human Genetics, University of Amsterdam, Academic Medical
> Centre, Meibergdreef 15, NL 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
> a.dietrich at
> A model is presented for the storage of long-term memory. In our model
> consolidation takes place by specific DNA sequences. These DNA sequences
> are obtained by the recombination of DNA in a similar way to that during
> meiosis and the production of immunological antibodies. DNA has the
> potential of the production of large numbers of specific DNA sequences.
> These sequences can be attached to images of neural networks.The
> following considerations lead to the theory: (1)Most of the DNA is not
> used: approximately 3% of our DNA is used. (2)There are no cell
> divisions in the brain after adulthood is reached. Structural DNA
> arrangements will not be altered nor disrupted as a consequence of cell
> division and mitosis. (3)Chromosomal pairing is demonstrated in the
> brain, which could indicate the exchange of DNA. In addition, in our
> first survey experiments we found a positive reaction of components of
> the synaptonemal complex (SC) in the nuclei of brain cells. The SC is
> highly meiosis specific and plays a major role in genetic recombination.
> Copyright 2001 Academic Press.
> Mick.
> --
> "You are the music while the music lasts" - Antonio Damasio (after TS
> Eliot).

So, you're basically saying that the gene-transcriptions are reversed ?
Only a retro-virus like the HIV are capable of that, unless you have some
data that indicate otherwise.
And no, more that 3% of the data are used.
That would say that only 3% of the DNA were used to create a human during
It seems more data are required


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