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'Flowers for Algernon' Becoming a Reality

pickens (49171) writes | more than 4 years ago

Biotech 0

Ponca City, We love you writes "The Telegraph reports that scientists have created the world's cleverest rat, able to remember objects for three times longer than other rats and better at finding its way through mazes, by modifying a single gene in a technique they believe one day could be used to boost human brainpower. The rat, named Hobbie-J, was injected with genetic material when it was an embryo to boost the NR2B gene which controls memory. “Hobbie-J can remember information for longer. It’s the equivalent of me giving you a telephone number and somehow you remembering it for an hour," says Dr Joe Z Tsien, who led the experiment at the Medical College of Georgia. “Our study provides a solid basis for the rationale that the NR2B gene is critical to enhancing memory. That gene could be used for memory-enhancing drugs.” The success brings hope for future dementia patients, as it is thought the gene enhancement could one day be used in a drug treatment for human brain disorders. However mega-memory could be a major burden says Neuroscientist Guosong Liu. "The danger of extending memory in healthy people could be considerable," Liu says. "There is a reason we forget. We are supposed to leave our bad experiences behind, so they do not haunt us.""

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