Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Human Memory Gene Identified

The first study using the new generation of giant gene chips has uncovered a gene linked to short-term memory.
October 20, 2006

A gene known as Kibra plays a role in short-term memory, according to new research from the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the University of Zurich, in Switzerland. Researchers tested short-term memory in 351 Swiss young adults and then did a genome-wide scan of their DNA to identify genetic variants that were correlated to memory performance. Those with better short-term memory carried a version of the gene known as the T allele. According to brain-imaging studies, people without the T allele gene had more activity in the brain areas involved in memory, suggesting that they had to work harder on memory tests. While scientists don’t yet know the exact function of the gene, it may be involved in synaptic plasticity, a form of cellular learning. Researchers say they plan to use the findings to develop new treatments for cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Read the press release here or the related Science paper here (subscription required).

The study is the first published using the 500K Affymetrix chip, which can search for 500,000 genetic variations in a single experiment, drastically reducing the time it takes scientists to identify genes linked to different diseases or other characteristics. Studies using the chip to examine the genetic root of autism, Alzheimer’s, and obesity are already under way. (See “A Massive Search for Autism Genes Begins.”)

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station
Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station

Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything

Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.

individual aging affects covid outcomes concept
individual aging affects covid outcomes concept

Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid

Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.

Europe's AI Act concept
Europe's AI Act concept

A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of

The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.