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TagLi-Huei Tsai

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Our Brains Break DNA in Order to Learn More Quickly

Memory loss in old age may be easier to understand if we know more about the mechanisms our brains are using to keep key memories intact

An interesting 2015 discovery sheds some light on memory issues: The urgency to remember a dangerous experience requires the brain to make a series of potentially dangerous moves: Neurons and other brain cells snap open their DNA in numerous locations — more than previously realized, according to a new study — to provide quick access to genetic instructions for the mechanisms of memory storage. David Orenstein, “Memory-making involves extensive DNA breaking” at MIT News (July 14, 2021) The paper is open access. Jordana Cepelowicz explains an “unsettling” discovery made by Li-Huei Tsai’s team at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory: … to express learning and memory genes more quickly, brain cells snap their DNA into pieces at many key…