Ryan, Tonegawa and Glanzman all think that LTP, with its bulked-up synapses, is important for retrieving memories, but not the thing that actually stores them. It's quite possible to have stored memories that aren't readily accessible, what Glanzman calls "occult memories" [emphasis mine] and Tonegawa refers to as "silent engrams." Both think the concept applies more broadly than in just the sea slugs and mice they study.
I did not read the original article, but based on the news piece it seems possible that the term "memory" is being used rather uncritically. If the snail's reaction is mediated by some metabolic process that involves RNA, then adding some of that RNA to another snail might cause it to react in a similar fashion. Whether this would be "memory" is a semantic question, but one should not conflate it with other sorts of "memory".Peez
For real, though, I honestly don't know if Glanzman hasn't adequately worked out the mechanism behind his hypothesis, or if my lack of knowledge concerning epigenetics, and the like, just makes it so I don't understand it. The evidence is the evidence, either way, but if Glanzman can't explain how things are supposed to work, according to his proposal, then I'm still prone to skepticism.
It's 1960 all over again. James V. McConnell would be laughing his ass off over this.If Kaczynski hadn't ruined his hearing, and of course, if he was still alive.
Here's the actual research paper:RNA from Trained Aplysia Can Induce an Epigenetic Engram for Long- Term Sensitization in Untrained AplysiaI strongly doubt this is going to withstand much scrutiny.