19 February 2010

Guest Post: Erasing Memories

Dr. Matlatzinca here with a surprise appearance.

Sometimes it feels like every time I learn the name of a new antibiotic I forget the name of someone I know. I've had numerous friends tell me that was the case with them as well, and a microbiologist professor I know frequently says that for every students' name he learns, he forgets the name of a species of bacteria. It seems that there may be a neurobiological mechanism underlying this bit of folk wisdom.

The research article is done on Drosophila, focusing on a protein called Rac. Yes, it is "only" fly research, but the interesting thing is that it appears that higher expression of the protein leads to flies forgetting about a particular association (in this case, a nasty smell accompanied by a foot shock).

I love seeing the advances being made in neurobiology. Maybe one day I will remember that Dr. Shadowfax gave me access to his blog so that I could share these kinds of interesting tidbits.

News story at Physorg and full paper available online (access required).


  1. Maybe we only have a limited number of terabytes in our heads, really.

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