UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — New research has turned science fiction into reality by implanting memories into a creature that didn’t make them.
The mind-bending experiment suggests some memories are stored in molecules that form genetic code.
For the study, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles trained sea snails to recoil from mild electric shocks.
These trained snails became jumpy at the memory of being prodded and recoiled for longer periods of time when they were gently tapped.
Researchers then extracted RNA from the snails’ nervous systems and implanted it into snails that hadn’t been trained.
RNA is a molecule in cells. It acts as a messenger, carrying instructions from DNA.
The snails that received the foreign RNA reacted to being tapped the same way the snails that had been sensitized had.
The study — published May 14 in the journal eNeuro — could help settle the debate on where memories are actually stored.