You Must Remember This

Bob bbruner at
Sun Oct 21 15:54:54 EST 2001

On Mon, 15 Oct 2001 01:56:23 +1000, Michael Jameson
<m.jameson at> wrote:

>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). 

Ok, I have looked at that paper. It is rather vague, but intriguing.
Those who want to consider the questions the poster raised should read

The basic idea they suggest is that memory storage may involve somatic
recombination, as with immunoglobulin genes. They provide evidence,
both from the known literature and from their new work, that somatic
recombination is "possible" or even "likely" in the nervous system.

The proposal does lead to some predictions that are presumably open to
testing, so it does seem like a constructive proposal. One could
rephrase the proposal... what is the role of enzymes of somatic
recombination in the nervous system?

Some of the objections raised in this thread are irrelevant. For
example, is reverse transcription (RT)  a problem. No, nothing in
their proposal requires RT (and if it did, I'm sure the cell could
come up with some). Discussions of roles for junk DNA are essentially
irrelevant, since there is no clear need for any particular amount of


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