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Friday, July 3, 2015

Brain Research: How new memories are formed ♦ Long-term memories are maintained by prion-like proteins ♦ Brain activity predicts promiscuity and problem drinking

New epigenetic mechanism revealed in brain cells For decades, researchers in the genetics field have theorized that the protein spools around which DNA is wound, histones, remain constant in the brain, never changing after development in the womb. Researchers have now discovered that histones are steadily replaced in brain cells throughout life.
Brain activity predicts pBrain activity predicts promiscuity and problem drinkingA new pair of brain-imaging studies suggest that researchers may be able to predict how likely young adults are to develop problem drinking or risky sexual behavior in response to stress. The research is part of the ongoing Duke Neurogenetics Study or DNS, which began in 2010 to better understand how interactions between the brain, genome, and environment shape risky behaviors predicting mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Human brain study sheds light on how new memories are formed In the first study of its kind researchers found that neurons in a specific brain region play a key role in rapidly forming memories about everyday events, a finding that may result in a better understanding of memory loss and new methods to fight it in Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.
Males may contribute to offspring's mental development before pregnancy A new study provides evidence in mice that males may play a positive role in the development of offspring's brains starting before pregnancy.

Long-term memories are maintained by prion-like proteins Researchers have uncovered further evidence of a system in the brain that persistently maintains memories for long periods of time.

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