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How Memories Are Made
Dr Arancio is a cellular neurobiologist who has contributed to the characterization of the mechanisms of learning in both normal conditions and during neurodegenerative diseases. During the past decade he has pioneered the field of mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Arancio’s laboratory has focused primarily on events triggered by amyloid protein. These studies, which have suggested new links between synaptic dysfunction and amyloid protein, are of a general relevance to the field of Alzheimer’s disease both for understanding the etiopathogenesis of the disease and for developing therapies aiming to improve the cognitive symptoms.
Question: How do our brains create memories?
Ottavio Arancio: Okay, the neurological process includes a series of chemical reactions at the level of the synapse and this series of reactions leads to changes in the connection of the synapses, changes that include both the… How would you say? Changes in the receptors that are located at the synapses such that these receptors respond in a different way and changes in the release of neurotransmitters of the synapses and eventually changes at the level of the morphology of the synapse, such that the synaptic response becomes much stronger. And even in addition to that for this memory to last long there have to be changes in the… at the level of the genes that are part of our DNA and that are long-lasting, so there are genetic changes with formation of new proteins in the cells that will leave its, you know, like sign, its change over there, as plastic changes, like as more protein and new proteins formed at the synapse.
You see, memory passes through several processes, several points and first you memorize something, then you consolidate this something, then you can recall it when you need to remember, then you can reconsolidate it. It’s a process which has several steps or phases.
Question: Why are we occasionally unable to recall a particular memory?
Ottavio Arancio: I'll bet that it depends on the particular moment in which you are trying to recall that memory and certain processes that no longer happen in the brain or they are blocked. Some chemical reactions occur and they interfere or do not occur and interfere with this process of recalling in a certain moment and then one you know has the chance then to remember it, maybe because you make an association with something at the moment that has to like… You know if you associate something with a particular odor as an example and then that odor comes then the memory comes up. It’s just those are tricks also to remember.
Question: Do our senses affect memory particularly strongly?
Ottavio Arancio: Well, I mean, obviously I bet that smell is much more important for a dog than for humans—although there are humans who exercise their sense of smell and probably much better than I am to remember using smell. I mean there is differences between sense as a way of learning according to people and we are not the same. It’s like a door that some people is more open one door than another, so or and so they use one particular way more than others, so there are differences, but if we accept through the way in which the memory gets in the chemical process that once those things get in they are very, very similar inside the brain. They are very, very similar for different, we’ll call input of memory coming different ways, through different mechanisms and they’re very similar in humans and they are very similar between different animals.
The neuroscientist explains how our mind produces memories and why they actually alter our DNA.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are incredibly rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also very rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.