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实现转移记忆……海蛞蝓之间 – 译学馆
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实现转移记忆......海蛞蝓之间

Scientists Just Transferred Memories... Between Sea Slugs

Sometimes, scientists do things that kinda seem impossible. Like,
科学家有时候能做一些看似不可能的实验 比如说
in a paper that came out on Monday,
在周一出版的一篇文章上
they took memories from one group of sea slugs
他们从一组海蛞蝓中提取记忆
and stuck them in other sea slugs — so
然后把记忆嵌入另一组海蛞蝓中
that the second group seemed to remember something
第二组海蛞蝓似乎也有了第一组海蛞蝓的记忆
that had never happened to them.
尽管他们没有亲身经历过
It ’ s an amazing feat of science,
这是一个令人惊叹的科学的壮举
and it could someday help us understand human memory…
这或许有一天也会帮助我们深入了解人类的记忆
but it’s also a little spooky.
虽然这听起来有些让人毛骨悚然
This experiment, which was published the journal eNeuro,
这篇在《eneuro》上发表的试验
was part of our decades-long search
是我们长达数十年的研究的一部分
for an engram: a physical thing in our brains that contains our memories.
对于记忆印记:是在我们大脑中储存记忆的实实在在的东西
For the record, we haven’t found one.
但根据记录 我们没有发现这种印记
The most common idea says that long-term memories are probably housed
最普遍的观点是认为长期记忆或许被封存在
in the connections between neurons.
神经细胞的联系中
But some researchers believe they’re stored in your non-coding RNA somehow.
然而有些研究人员认为它们被不知不觉储存在你身体内非编码rna中
RNA is best known for helping your cells create proteins.
RNA主要因帮助你的细胞产生蛋白质而被人知道
It ’ s kind of like a recipe created from the information in DNA.
它与DNA生成信息的方式有点相似
But non-coding RNA isn’t involved in making proteins.
但非编码RNA并不参与产生蛋白质
There are lots of different types,
且有许多不同种类
and we ’ re still figuring out everything those molecules
我们仍然在想弄明白这些粒子
can do.
能干什么
And with this new paper,
根据这份研究
we have more evidence that one of their jobs could involve memory.
我们有更多的证据说明他们其中的一个作用与记忆相关
In this study, scientists repeatedly prodded the tails
在这个研究里 科学家们反复刺激
of 34 sea slugs, called California
34只海蛞蝓即加利福尼亚海兔
sea hares.
的尾巴
Each poke triggered a defense reflex where they suck their tails inside their bodies. Normally,
每戳一下都会引起它们的自卫反应 他们会把尾巴吸进自己的体内
they probably do this to protect their sensitive,
一般来说 他们通过这种方法来使他们的敏感的
squishy parts from predators.
黏糊糊的部位免受捕食者的袭击
But y’know, it’s good for science, too.
而且你懂的 它还有利于科学
The more the researchers poked, the longer that reflex lasted.
科学家戳的次数越多 反应持续的时间就越长
And after two days of this,
持续这样两天后
the sea slugs had been trained to keep their tails in about
海蛞蝓被训练成能缩尾巴
60 seconds longer than they had at the start. Then,
比开始长了大概60秒
the scientists took samples of RNA
然后 科学家们从海蛞蝓的神经系统中提取了RNA样本
from the sea slugs ’ nervous systems and injected
并注射入
them into the circulatory systems of another group
另外一组
of sea slugs — ones who didn ’ t get
没有进行尾部刺激的的海蛞蝓
any tail prods.
的血液循环系统中
And after the injection,
注射后
these new sea slugs also performed the tail reflex about 40 seconds
新的一组的海蛞蝓进行尾部反应比正常的
longer than normal.
要长40秒
It wasn ’ t quite as long as the trained group,
虽然它们没有开始的那组海蛞蝓持久
but the change was big enough to suggest that
但这些变化足以说明
the sea slugs had basically been injected with the memories of the first group.
被主要输入了第一组记忆的海蛞蝓
Or at least,
或者至少说
something in their nervous systems changed and made their tail reflexes last longer.
在它们神经系统中的一些物质改变和延长了它们的尾部反应
After follow-up experiments, the researchers believed this happened because that non-coding
在后续的试验之后 研究人员认为这是因为非编码RNA
RNA somehow triggered DNA methylation.
不知道怎么的触发了DNA的甲基化作用
This is when methyl groups get attached to specific parts
这时就是甲基原子团附着到DNA特定的部位的时候
of DNA, and it usually stops
而且它通常会
the production of certain proteins.
停止某种蛋白质的产生
So maybe that, in turn,
或许因此 反过来
altered something in the sea slugs ’ neurons.
改变了海蛞蝓神经元中的一些东西
There ’ s still a lot to figure out —
仍然有许多东西等我们去发现
like how non-coding RNAs cause methylation, and
比如非编码RNA是怎么造成甲基化作用的
how methylation changes sea slug neurons and, ultimately, memories.
还有甲基化作用是如何改变海蛞蝓的神经元细胞的 最终影响到记忆
And we can ’ t say for sure
我们不能肯定的说
that this works the same way in humans.
人类也是通过这种方式进行的
But if it did,
但如果真是这样
it would put us one step closer to understanding where our memories live inside
那么它会让我们更深一步的理解
our heads, and how we might even be able to alter them.
我们的记忆储存在大脑的什么位置 甚至是我们如何能够改变它们
Which is all kinds of weird.
听起来非常奇怪
If you need a breather after all that, well,
听完了这些如果你需要点时间消化下
we ’ ve got the study for you.
不妨听一下这个调查报告
For years, scientists have noticed
几年来 科学家们注意到
that controlled breathing — like from certain meditation
控制你的呼吸 比如通过冥想
practices — can provide all kinds of cognitive benefits, including improved focus.
能够给我们许多认知上的好处 包括提高我们的专注度
And according to a paper published last Thursday
根据上周四精神生理学发表的一篇文章
in the journal Psychophysiology, we might ’ ve
我们或许已经知道
figured out why.
这是为什么了
It all has to do with a little structure
它和一个在你脑干里叫做蓝斑核(LC)的结构有着
in your brainstem called the locus coeruleus,
千丝万缕的
or the LC.
联系
And the LC affects a lot of things, including your respiratory system.
蓝斑核影响很广 包括你的呼吸系统
It ’ s linked to nerves that remind
它连接的神经能够提醒你
your body to keep breathing even when you ’ re not thinking
时刻保持呼吸
about it.
尽管你没想这样做
As a result, the activity of this region is influenced
结果是 这个区域的活动
by how much carbon dioxide is in
取决于你的体内
your body.
有多少的二氧化碳
When there ’ s more CO2, like when you inhale,
在你吸气的时候 你的体内会有更多的二氧化碳
your LC fires more often.
这时蓝斑核就更容易消耗
And the opposite is true when you exhale and your CO2 levels drop. Now,
反过来也是一样 当你呼气时 体内二氧化碳浓度下降
the LC has another job too:
这时蓝斑核就有另外一张任务
It ’ s your brain ’ s main producer of a neurotransmitter
它来充当你脑中叫做降肾上腺素的神经递质的生产者
called noradrenaline or norepinephrine,
又称去甲肾上腺素
which is a major player in your ability to focus.
它是让你保持专注的主要参与者
The tricky thing is,
棘手的是
your brain has kind of a sweet spot for noradrenaline levels.
对叫肾上腺素的水准来说 你的大脑中有它特殊的要求
If there ’ s not enough of it,
如果不够
you don ’ t feel stimulated,
你没有感受到刺激
so it ’ s hard to focus.
因此也很难集中注意力
But if there ’ s too much, you feel overstimulated or anxious,
但如果过量 你会感到过度刺激或焦虑
so you still can ’ t focus.
你还是不能集中注意力
According to this study, controlled breathing could help. See,
根据这项研究 控制你的呼吸就能解决这些问题
as you inhale and your LC fires faster,
当你吸气时你的蓝斑核消耗的更快
it also produces slightly more noradrenaline.
它同时也慢慢产生了更多的降肾上腺素
And it produces slightly less as you exhale.
产生的比呼气时要少一些
So by controlling your breathing,
所以作者建议你可以通过控制呼吸
the authors suggest that you can actually optimize those
来优化降肾上腺素的水准
noradrenaline levels — and your focus.
以及你的专注度
In their study, they tracked the locus coeruleus activity
在研究中 他们追踪了在两种不同情况下
of 14 participants during two phases:
14组蓝斑核的活动情况
an 8-minute rest, and a 20-minute listening task.
一个进行8分钟的休息 另一个进行20分钟的听讲
In the task,
在任务中
they had to pay attention and respond as fast as possible to mostly random tones,
他们必须保持专注 而且以他们最快的速度回应那些随机的曲调
which could pop up anywhere between 2.5 and 3.5 seconds apart.
这些曲调可能每2.5秒到3.5秒随时突然出现
To monitor their brain activity,
为了监视他们脑部的活动
the team used fMRI scans and also tracked participants ’
研究小组用了fMRI扫描仪 并追踪参与者的瞳孔的扩张情况
pupil dilation, since previous work has shown
之所以这样是因为之前的研究表明
that ’ s a good indicator of locus coeruleus
它能很好的观察研究蓝斑核活动的
activity.
迹象
They found that participants who were better
他们发现更善于倾听的参与者
at the listening activity had more synchronization
在呼吸和任务中
between their breathing and the task.
更同步
Their inhales and exhales were more in phase with those 2-3 second intervals.
他们的吸气与呼气在这2到3秒的间隔中更协调
And they probably weren’t trying to do that. Instead,
而且他们甚至没有刻意而为之
the scientists thought
科学家们认为
that their focus levels were actually changing their
事实上是他们的专注度
breathing — to have the right amount of CO2
在影响他们的呼吸 来保持适量的二氧化碳
for the amount of LC activity.
进行蓝斑核的活动
The researchers suggested this wasn ’ t a one-way street,
科研人员猜测这不是单向进行的
either — that controlling
控制你的呼吸
your breathing can influence noradrenaline production and how focused you are.
可能会影响到降肾上腺素的产量 以及影响到你的专注度
This was the first study to find a biological link
这是人类上第一个从生物学角度发现的
between breathing and cognition in humans,
呼吸和认知之间联系的研究
so we need more papers to know anything for sure.
所以我们要从更多的研究报告来证实
But the next time you ’ re struggling to pay attention
但如果下次上课或开会时很难集中注意力
in class or a meeting, maybe try
不如试一试
taking a deep breath or two.
深呼吸一下
Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow!
感谢收看本集scishow
If you ’ d like to keep up
如果你想随时知道
with the latest science news — and all the other mind-boggling
最新的科学消息 或其它难以置信的东西
stuff out there — you can go to youtube.com/scishow and subscribe.
你可以上我们的网站xxxxxx

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