We need to remember. Yet there are things we would like to forget. They just hang on in there regardless of feeling and time. What is it that keeps a memory alive inside us? What is it that makes a sort of indelible imprint on our brain while other memories slip away? We probably imagine memory as something with a fuzzy border that is impossible to grasp - a little like a piece of cloud. In the past years, however, scientists have demonstrated that our ability to remember things in a lasting fashion is in the hands of several biological molecules that are found in the hippocampus, the part of our brain where memories are formed. When a memory stirs and is chosen to be long-lasting, new proteins are synthesized and synaptic connections begin to grow. One molecule that is proving to have a central role in this process is a protein known as CPE-binding protein 3, or CPEB3 - a protein which, surprisingly, also has prion-like properties.
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Tales From A Small World
Tales From A Small World is a collection of the first hundred articles which originally appeared on this site. Published in September 2009, the book is enriched by poems from the Dublin poet, Pat Ingoldsby. Learn more and order your copy online.
Journey Into A Tiny World
« Globin and Poietin set out to save Lily's life. But time is running short and they can't find the marrow... Here is the tale of their courage, fun and laughter on a journey that takes them deep into the tiniest of worlds.» For children. Learn more and order your copy online.
Snapshot : Dermaseptin
Prior to a hunting expedition, the men of some South American tribes scrape the 'juice' off a frog's skin and smear it onto fresh burns inflicted on their arms or chest. The net result is an hour's vomiting, incontinence, a rapid heartbeat and intense sweating, followed by listlessness which lasts a day or more, to finally come to one's senses feeling - as the biologist Peter Gorman jotted down in his field notebook - 'quite godlike in my strength and [with an] acuteness of my senses'. What the hunters qualify as 'hunting magic'.
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“I recently stumbled upon your columns. Let me congratulate you on achieving the near impossible, for your articles have enabled me to successfully marry IT with the Life Sciences and better explain the concepts of bioinformatics to those who are not in the know of the field.
Your articles are very well written, lucid, and contain just enough information to excite the reader to want to learn more about the topic being discussed. They fall in a very rare category where they are accessible to everyone, from the undergraduate students to research students who want to have a basic idea of the topics being discussed. Some of your articles, like "Our hollow architecture" and "Throb" are outstanding pieces.
I would highly recommend your articles as a necessary reading in undergrad classes to get students inspired about the various avenues of research.”