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Memory Transplant in Snails
#1
In a recent study, a team of scientists was able to successfully implement the memories of one snail into another.

After shocking some of these snails with electricity to produce a more pronounced defensive response, the scientists would give them a slight poke. Snails which had received the shock would hide in their shells for approximately 50 seconds, while snails that had not been shocked only retreated into their shell for a second or two. Then, by injecting some of the RNA from the snails which had received a shock, the team was astounded to see that the new snails stayed in their shell for an average of about 40 seconds, leading them to believe that they had received the memory of the shock in the RNA. While this is just the beginning of research into this topic, and things definitely have a long ways to go, the group believes that in the future, this technology could be applied, not only to the potential transfer of memories between each other, but also to the treatment of diseases such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Alzheimer's.

One interesting part of this study is that the snails produced a response through the transfer of RNA, however; if memories are stored in the synapses, which most scientists had believed to be true, then there could not have been any transfer of memory between the snails. The new theory, created by the scientists who conducted the experiment, is that memories are actually stored within the nuclei of neurons rather than at the connections.
#2
(05-16-2018, 01:01 AM)Brett Merkosky Wrote: In a recent study, a team of scientists was able to successfully implement the memories of one snail into another.

After shocking some of these snails with electricity to produce a more pronounced defensive response, the scientists would give them a slight poke. Snails which had received the shock would hide in their shells for approximately 50 seconds, while snails that had not been shocked only retreated into their shell for a second or two. Then, by injecting some of the RNA from the snails which had received a shock, the team was astounded to see that the new snails stayed in their shell for an average of about 40 seconds, leading them to believe that they had received the memory of the shock in the RNA. While this is just the beginning of research into this topic, and things definitely have a long ways to go, the group believes that in the future, this technology could be applied, not only to the potential transfer of memories between each other, but also to the treatment of diseases such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Alzheimer's.

One interesting part of this study is that the snails produced a response through the transfer of RNA, however; if memories are stored in the synapses, which most scientists had believed to be true, then there could not have been any transfer of memory between the snails. The new theory, created by the scientists who conducted the experiment, is that memories are actually stored within the nuclei of neurons rather than at the connections.

While this study is both intriguing and a large step forward in understanding how the human subconscious functions, I believe that if these studies were applied to human trials, there may be some ethical issues surrounding the topic. While it is important to find a way to treat individuals with illnesses such as PTSD or Alzheimer's, I do not believe that the transfer of memories between two individuals would help this. This simply would fabricate memories and falsify the extent to which an individual is uniquely their own person, with their own unique life. However, I could also see the side of this research that would maybe ease the pain of individuals with mental illnesses. And while I do believe that finding a way to treat mental illnesses such as the ones mentioned, I do believe that there may be better ways in going about this. Overall, while the study is extremely interesting, I believe there should be multiple steps taken not only in a scientific sense before applying it to humans, but also in an ethical sense as well.
#3
I think this is an amazing discovery! I'm truly stunned and I can't wait until more research is done and to see if this takes us anywhere. The fact that scientists were able to successfully transfer the memory from one snail to another is astonishing, especially since there wasn't any harmful effects to the snail I assume. If this could help patients who have suffered from memory loss, especially people with Alzheimer's, it would be life changing. Seeing and hearing stories about people who had a loved one lose their memory is absolutely saddening, so if they could be able to regain their memory back by this, I imagine it would be a common way to do so. I wonder if this would also help with learning disabilities? Of course, the transplant of these memories/knowledge would be a complicated process. Like the previous reply, PTSD is a mental illness, so if this could treat mental illness, then wouldn't it help? I do believe that the individuals would consent to this kind of treatment, so if the patient wants it, I don't think there is much of a ethical point in this, unless the patient was unresponsive or if you bring religion into this, where one may believe that things happen for a reason. Something I'm wondering is that if you transfer your memory to another, then does the person who gave their memory lose it forever?


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