From language to literature, from music to mathematics, a single protein appears central to the formation of the long-term memories needed to learn these and all other disciplines, according to a team of researchers led by scientists at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. Their findings appear in the October 15 issue of Science.
The protein is known as mBDNF, which stands for mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor. It appears to chemically alter neurons, boosting their ability to communicate with one another. "Most of what we accomplish as human beings depends on what we learn," said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "This discovery brings the possibility of studying this protein system in people with disorders of learning and memory and perhaps designing new medications that might help to compensate for these problems."
The study was conducted by NICHDs Petti Pang, Ph.D, and Bai Lu, Ph.D, along with their colleagues at NICHD, Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Researchers recognize two broad categories of memory--short term memory, and long term memory. Short term memory refers to the transient memories that last from minutes to hours. Long term memory refers to the ability to remember things for more than a day--sometimes for many years.
Robert Bock | EurekAlert!
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The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research
Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI
The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...
World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles
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Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
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