Monday, October 27, 2008

Scientists working on a drug to selectively erase memories

One of the more popular themes in science fiction are those that deal with human memory. Whether it's copying memory from one place to another, building completely new memory sets, modifying existing memory such as adding new memories or taking away the bad, this has been a theme that has been revisited many times in many stories. Now Shaun Saunders sends in a article from NewScientist that has scientists moving a step closer to wiping away a month-old memory in genetically engineered laboratory mice, while leaving other memories unchanged. The research involved boosts levels of a protein involved in memory storage and retrieval, which has the effect of dispelling memory. Now this is short term memory. Other researchers have shown that it is possible to block the retrieval of long term memories by raising the levels of yet another protein. And yet another protein that erases long term memories completely, even without recalling them. Many neuroscientists do not think it's possible to use these methods in humans, now or in the future, but many agree that with research, future applications are a very real possibility.

<- newscientist article ->

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