"We have strong evidence that this is really a molecular change that is involved in long-term memory," said Dr. Ronald Davis, professor of molecular and cellular biology at BCM. "This appears to be an authentic memory trace for long-term memory."
Davis and his colleagues used spaced training to teach the flies to associate an odor with a mild electric shock. This method gives the fly a training trial, then a rest and then another trial. The rest is critical in inducing long-term memory that can last days. In this study, the five spaced trials produced a memory that lasted for more than a day. They then used a technique called "functional imaging" to see when the memory formed in the fly’s brain.
"Before training, we could see some calcium flowing into the mushroom body neurons when the flies were exposed to odor," said Davis. When they exposed the fruit flies or Drosophila to the odor 24 hours after spaced training, they saw much more calcium flowing into the mushroom body neurons. The increased calcium influx paralleled the long-term memory of the flies. Using special laboratory techniques, he and others in the lab showed that they could block the calcium influx by blocking the function of a protein critical to making the new synapses associated with long-term memory.
Laura Madden-Fuentes | EurekAlert!
TU Bergakademie Freiberg researches virus inhibitors from the sea
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Together with their colleagues from the University of Würzburg, physicists from the group of Professor Alexander Szameit at the University of Rostock have devised a “funnel” for photons. Their discovery was recently published in the renowned journal Science and holds great promise for novel ultra-sensitive detectors as well as innovative applications in telecommunications and information processing.
The quantum-optical properties of light and its interaction with matter has fascinated the Rostock professor Alexander Szameit since College.
Researchers at the University of Zurich show that different stem cell populations are innervated in distinct ways. Innervation may therefore be crucial for proper tissue regeneration. They also demonstrate that cancer stem cells likewise establish contacts with nerves. Targeting tumour innervation could thus lead to new cancer therapies.
Stem cells can generate a variety of specific tissues and are increasingly used for clinical applications such as the replacement of bone or cartilage....
An international research team led by Kiel University develops an extremely porous material made of "white graphene" for new laser light applications
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Researchers at Graz University of Technology have developed a framework by which wireless devices with different radio technologies will be able to communicate directly with each other.
Whether networked vehicles that warn of traffic jams in real time, household appliances that can be operated remotely, "wearables" that monitor physical...
Terahertz waves are becoming ever more important in science and technology. They enable us to unravel the properties of future materials, test the quality of...
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