Researchers from KU Leuven and the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology have managed to erase unpleasant memories in mice using a ‘genetic switch’. Their findings were published in Biological Psychiatry.
Dementia, accidents, or traumatic events can make us lose the memories formed before the injury or the onset of the disease. Researchers from KU Leuven and the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology have now shown that some memories can also be erased when one particular gene is switched off.
The team trained mice that had been genetically modified in one single gene: NPTN. This gene, which is investigated by only a few groups in the world, is very important for brain plasticity. In humans, changes in the regulation of the NPTN gene have recently been linked to decreased intellectual abilities and schizophrenia.
In the reported study, the mice were trained to move from one side of a box to the other as soon as a lamp lights up, thus avoiding a foot stimulus. This learning process is called associative learning. Its most famous example is Pavlov’s dog: conditioned to associate the sound of a bell with getting food, the dog starts salivating whenever it hears a bell.
Deactivating one single gene is enough to erase associative memories.
The Leibniz Association (German: Leibniz-Gemeinschaft or Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz) is a union of German non-university research institutes from various branches of study.
In 2011, 87 non-university research institutes and service device for science belong to the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft. The fields range from natural science, engineering, and ecology, to economics, other social sciences, space science, and humanities. The Leibniz Institutes work in an interdisciplinary fashion, and connect basic and applied science. They cooperate with universities, industry, and other partners in different parts of the world. The “evaluation” of the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft is a benchmark for all institutes. The Leibniz Institutes employ 16,800 people and budget was €1.4 billion.
Leibniz Institutes are funded publicly to equal parts by the federal government and the Federal states (Bundesländer).
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Leibniz Association research articles from Innovation Toronto
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Research scientists at INM have combined the benefits of organic and inorganic electronic materials in a new type of hybrid inks. This allows electronic circuits to be applied to paper directly from a pen, for example.
The electronics of the future will be printed.
The electronics of the future will be printed. Flexible circuits can be produced inexpensively on foil or paper using printing processes and permit futuristic designs with curved diodes or input elements. This requires printable electronic materials that can be printed and retain a high level of conductivity during usage in spite of their curved surfaces. Some tried and tested materials include organic, conductive polymers and nanoparticles made of conductive oxides (TCOs). Research scientists at INM – Leibniz-Institute for New Materials have now combined the benefits of organic and inorganic electronic materials in a new type of hybrid inks. This allows electronic circuits to be applied to paper directly from a pen, for example.