To Learn More Quickly, Brain Cells Break Their DNA

DNA double-strand breaks are associated with cancer and aging. A new study shows neurons can use them to quickly express genes related to learning and memory.

Faced with a threat, the brain has to act fast, its neurons making new connections to learn what might spell the difference between life and death. But in its response, the brain also raises the stakes: As an unsettling recent discovery shows, to express learning and memory genes more quickly, brain cells snap their DNA into pieces at many key points, and then rebuild their fractured genome later.

The finding doesn’t just provide insights into the nature of the brain’s plasticity. It also demonstrates that

→ Continue reading at Wired - Science

More from author

Related posts

Advertisment

Latest posts

Spain’s Factorial raises $80M at a $530M valuation on the back of strong traction for its ‘Workday for SMBs’

Factorial, a startup out of Barcelona that has built a platform that lets SMBs run human resources functions with the same kind of tools...

Dukaan raises $11 million to help merchants in India set up online stores

Dukaan, a one-year-old Bangalore-based startup that enables merchants to set up online stores and sell products digitally, said on Monday it has raised $11...

Mercedes-Benz throws down the EV gauntlet at IAA Mobility

Mercedes-Benz introduced a slew of electric vehicles ahead of the IAA Mobility show in Germany, including its first AMG-branded high-performance EV, a sedan and...