Molecular mechanism of long-term memory discovered

By studying roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans), scientists at the University of Basel have now discovered a molecular mechanism of long-term memory that is also involved in memory loss in old age. They report on their findings in the journal Current Biology.

The team led by Dr Attila Stetak, Professor Andreas Papassotiropoulos and Professor Dominique de Quervain used sensory stimuli to first examine the learning and memory ability of genetically modified roundworms lacking a certain gene, mps-2. This gene contains the blueprint for part of a voltage-dependent ion channel in the nerve cell membrane and is suspected of playing a role in memory functions.