NEUROSCIENCE

Can Scientists Edit Memory?

You may soon be able to block out painful memories–without spending money on a shrink. Researchers in Brooklyn have identified the “memory molecule” in the human brain, which will allow them to control the blockage of certain human memories. PKMzeta, a molecule that was activated in cells “when they were put on speed-dial by a neighboring neuron,” has so far been tested only on rats. Scientists found that the rats remember certain things, but with an injection that blocks PKMzeta, forget everything they’ve learned. The implications are vast: Scientists may be able to dim memories of trauma or soothe an addict’s cravings. And the properties of PKMzeta may allow neuroscientists to improve memory, and help people avoid Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.