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Re: [evol-psych] Memories may be stored on your DNA

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  • Edgar Owen
    Artemis, Certainly instinctual modes of action are inherited via DNA, they are the original software of any new organism, just as the organism s body is its
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 1, 2008
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      Artemis,

      Certainly instinctual modes of action are inherited via DNA, they are the original software of any new organism, just as the organism's body is its hardware.

      However I am not familiar with any evidence that migration routes are conveyed via DNA. Are there any studies where say birds of migrating species raised in isolation migrate by themselves along the traditional routes? I don't think so and would be surprised to hear differently.

      My impression is that migrations are cultural behaviors evolved over long time scales, and are continually learned by young from the behaviors of adults.

      Edgar



      On Dec 1, 2008, at 3:59 PM, artemistroy wrote:

      I've suspected for the longest time that the memories of our 
      ancestors are stored in our DNA, and that when triggered by ideas, 
      language, and events, will be emotionally expressed. Why, for 
      example, are many Westerners moved by Shakespeare, the Greek myths, 
      and Puccini, to name just a few, and those who do not possess that 
      DNA are unmoved? We can add morals. ethics, and empathy to that mix, 
      since they are not universally shared. A culture may be stored in the 
      organism's DNA, to be expressed anew with each succeeding generation 
      IF not repressed or destroyed by alien memes.

      How do animals find a location they've never been to before, like 
      elephants, seals, birds, fish, and insects? The memories, then, must 
      be instinctual and thus heritable, necessary for survival and 
      reproduction.

      Artemis 
      ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ ____

      Memories may be stored on your DNA

      26 November 2008 by Devin Powell, Washington DC 

      Magazine issue 2684. 

      The formation of a memory

      REMEMBER your first kiss? Experiments in mice suggest that patterns 
      of chemical "caps" on our DNA may be responsible for preserving such 
      memories.

      To remember a particular event, a specific sequence of neurons must 
      fire at just the right time. For this to happen, neurons must be 
      connected in a certain way by chemical junctions called synapses. But 
      how they last over decades, given that proteins in the brain, 
      including those that form synapses, are destroyed and replaced 
      constantly, is a mystery.

      Now Courtney Miller and David Sweatt of the University of Alabama in 
      Birmingham say that long-term memories may be preserved by a process 
      called DNA methylation - the addition of chemical caps called methyl 
      groups onto our DNA.

      Many genes are already coated with methyl groups. When a cell 
      divides, this "cellular memory" is passed on and tells the new cell 
      what type it is - a kidney cell, for example. Miller and Sweatt argue 
      that in neurons, methyl groups also help to control the exact pattern 
      of protein expression needed to maintain the synapses that make up 
      memories.

      They started by looking at short-term memories. When caged mice are 
      given a small electric shock, they normally freeze in fear when 
      returned to the cage. However, then injecting them with a drug to 
      inhibit methylation seemed to erase any memory of the shock. The 
      researchers also showed that in untreated mice, gene methylation 
      changed rapidly in the hippocampus region of the brain for an hour 
      following the shock. But a day later, it had returned to normal, 
      suggesting that methylation was involved in creating short-term 
      memories in the hippocampus (Neuron, DOI: 
      10.1016/j.neuron. 2007.02.022) .

      To see whether methylation plays a part in the formation of long-term 
      memories, Miller and Sweatt repeated the experiment, this time 
      looking at the uppermost layers of the brain, called the cortex.

      They found that a day after the shock, methyl groups were being 
      removed from a gene called calcineurin and added to another gene. 
      Because the exact pattern of methylation eventually stabilised and 
      then stayed constant for seven days, when the experiment ended, the 
      researchers say the methyl changes may be anchoring the memory of the 
      shock into long-term memory, not just controlling a process involved 
      in memory formation.

      "We think we're seeing short-term memories forming in the hippocampus 
      and slowly turning into long-term memories in the cortex," says 
      Miller, who presented the results last week at the Society for 
      Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC.

      "The cool idea here is that the brain could be borrowing a form of 
      cellular memory from developmental biology to use for what we think 
      of as memory," says Marcelo Wood, who researches long-term memory at 
      the University of California, Irvine.

      From issue 2684 of New Scientist magazine, page 12.

      Browse past issues of New Scientist magazine 
      http://www.newscien tist.com/ article/mg200268 45.000-memories- may-be-
      stored-on-your- dna.html? DCMP=NLC- nletter&nsref= mg20026845. 000


    • Bob Dougherty
      Sorry Artemis- but you ll have to continue searching for a biochemical mechanism for memory inheritance. The article that you cite describes a way that
      Message 2 of 15 , Dec 1, 2008
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        Sorry Artemis- but you'll have to continue searching for a biochemical
        mechanism for memory inheritance. The article that you cite describes a way
        that individual neurons can modify their own local copy of DNA to help them
        remember their local synaptic connections. There is no way to use such a
        mechanism to encode memories in the DNA in your gametocytes, which is the only
        DNA in your body that can be passed to your children. Not only is there no
        plausible biochemical mechanism to get info from a neuron to a gametocyte, but
        there is a simple logical hurdle. There are billions of neurons, each perhaps
        with its own variant of DNA, but only one copy of your DNA can be passed on
        through your gametocytes. Even if you could pick one neuron's DNA to pass
        along, it's impossible to see how the DNA modification described in this
        report could affect brain development in a way to pass a specific memory
        along. It still remains that the only known mechanism for passing memories to
        future generations is culture.

        cheers,
        bob

        --
        -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- http://www.stanford.edu/~bobd -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
        Dr. Bob Dougherty bobd@... 474 Jordan Hall
        Research Scientist (650) 725-0051 (voice) Stanford University
        Psychology (650) 723-0993 (fax) Stanford, CA 94305-2130


        artemistroy wrote:
        > I've suspected for the longest time that the memories of our
        > ancestors are stored in our DNA, and that when triggered by ideas,
        > language, and events, will be emotionally expressed. Why, for
        > example, are many Westerners moved by Shakespeare, the Greek myths,
        > and Puccini, to name just a few, and those who do not possess that
        > DNA are unmoved? We can add morals. ethics, and empathy to that mix,
        > since they are not universally shared. A culture may be stored in the
        > organism's DNA, to be expressed anew with each succeeding generation
        > IF not repressed or destroyed by alien memes.
        >
        > How do animals find a location they've never been to before, like
        > elephants, seals, birds, fish, and insects? The memories, then, must
        > be instinctual and thus heritable, necessary for survival and
        > reproduction.
        >
        > Artemis
        > ____________________________________________________
        >
        > Memories may be stored on your DNA
        >
        > 26 November 2008 by Devin Powell, Washington DC
        >
        > Magazine issue 2684.
        >
        > The formation of a memory
        >
        > REMEMBER your first kiss? Experiments in mice suggest that patterns
        > of chemical "caps" on our DNA may be responsible for preserving such
        > memories.
        >
        > To remember a particular event, a specific sequence of neurons must
        > fire at just the right time. For this to happen, neurons must be
        > connected in a certain way by chemical junctions called synapses. But
        > how they last over decades, given that proteins in the brain,
        > including those that form synapses, are destroyed and replaced
        > constantly, is a mystery.
        >
        > Now Courtney Miller and David Sweatt of the University of Alabama in
        > Birmingham say that long-term memories may be preserved by a process
        > called DNA methylation - the addition of chemical caps called methyl
        > groups onto our DNA.
        >
        > Many genes are already coated with methyl groups. When a cell
        > divides, this "cellular memory" is passed on and tells the new cell
        > what type it is - a kidney cell, for example. Miller and Sweatt argue
        > that in neurons, methyl groups also help to control the exact pattern
        > of protein expression needed to maintain the synapses that make up
        > memories.
        >
        > They started by looking at short-term memories. When caged mice are
        > given a small electric shock, they normally freeze in fear when
        > returned to the cage. However, then injecting them with a drug to
        > inhibit methylation seemed to erase any memory of the shock. The
        > researchers also showed that in untreated mice, gene methylation
        > changed rapidly in the hippocampus region of the brain for an hour
        > following the shock. But a day later, it had returned to normal,
        > suggesting that methylation was involved in creating short-term
        > memories in the hippocampus (Neuron, DOI:
        > 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.02.022).
        >
        > To see whether methylation plays a part in the formation of long-term
        > memories, Miller and Sweatt repeated the experiment, this time
        > looking at the uppermost layers of the brain, called the cortex.
        >
        > They found that a day after the shock, methyl groups were being
        > removed from a gene called calcineurin and added to another gene.
        > Because the exact pattern of methylation eventually stabilised and
        > then stayed constant for seven days, when the experiment ended, the
        > researchers say the methyl changes may be anchoring the memory of the
        > shock into long-term memory, not just controlling a process involved
        > in memory formation.
        >
        > "We think we're seeing short-term memories forming in the hippocampus
        > and slowly turning into long-term memories in the cortex," says
        > Miller, who presented the results last week at the Society for
        > Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC.
        >
        > "The cool idea here is that the brain could be borrowing a form of
        > cellular memory from developmental biology to use for what we think
        > of as memory," says Marcelo Wood, who researches long-term memory at
        > the University of California, Irvine.
        >
        >
        >>From issue 2684 of New Scientist magazine, page 12.
        >
        > Browse past issues of New Scientist magazine
        > http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026845.000-memories-may-be-
        > stored-on-your-dna.html?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=mg20026845.000
        >
      • artemistroy
        OK, and I m no expert on salmon reproductive behavior, as an example, but how do the hatchlings know that when they re adults, they have to migrate to the
        Message 3 of 15 , Dec 2, 2008
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          OK, and I'm no expert on salmon reproductive behavior, as an example,
          but how do the hatchlings know that when they're adults, they have to
          migrate to the place of their birth to repeat the process? Do they
          attend salmon cultural training school to learn how to do this? I
          suggest the behavior is instinctual, coded in their DNA. It has been
          shown that salmon do not know when they're crossing the Canadian/U.S.
          border to spawn, which suggests that their behavior is extremely
          ancient. :~)

          Since humans are primates that are descended from an ancestor
          possibly 35 million years ago, why should it be assumed that
          differences in human behavior and traits are not coded in human DNA?
          Research continues to reveal many more differences in humans
          (currently numbering around 6 billion) as may be found in other
          species.

          Perhaps members familiar with this topic can contribute some examples
          of culture versus instinct, and how long it would take culture and
          biology to coalesce. Note, too, that humans are born with the ability
          to acquire language, but this trait must be triggered and reinforced
          by languaging humans, even with respect to non-hearing individuals.

          This is exciting research, to say the least.

          Artemis


          "We think we're seeing short-term memories forming in the hippocampus
          and slowly turning into long-term memories in the cortex," says
          Miller, who presented the results last week at the Society for
          Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC.

          "The cool idea here is that the brain could be borrowing a form of
          cellular memory from developmental biology to use for what we think
          of as memory," says Marcelo Wood, who researches long-term memory at
          the University of California, Irvine.


          --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Edgar Owen
          <edgarowen@...> wrote:
          >
          > Artemis,
          >
          > Certainly instinctual modes of action are inherited via DNA, they
          are the original software of any new organism, just as the
          organism's
          > body is its hardware.
          >
          > However I am not familiar with any evidence that migration routes
          are conveyed via DNA. Are there any studies where say birds of
          migrating species raised in isolation migrate by themselves along
          the traditional routes? I don't think so and would be surprised to
          hear differently.
          >
          > My impression is that migrations are cultural behaviors evolved
          over long time scales, and are continually learned by young from the
          > behaviors of adults.
          >
          > Edgar
          >
          >
          >
          > On Dec 1, 2008, at 3:59 PM, artemistroy wrote:
          >
          > > I've suspected for the longest time that the memories of our
          > > ancestors are stored in our DNA, and that when triggered by ideas,
          > > language, and events, will be emotionally expressed. Why, for
          > > example, are many Westerners moved by Shakespeare, the Greek
          myths,
          > > and Puccini, to name just a few, and those who do not possess that
          > > DNA are unmoved? We can add morals. ethics, and empathy to that
          mix,
          > > since they are not universally shared. A culture may be stored in
          the
          > > organism's DNA, to be expressed anew with each succeeding
          generation
          > > IF not repressed or destroyed by alien memes.
          > >
          > > How do animals find a location they've never been to before, like
          > > elephants, seals, birds, fish, and insects? The memories, then,
          must
          > > be instinctual and thus heritable, necessary for survival and
          > > reproduction.
          > >
          > > Artemis
          > > ____________________________________________________
          > >
          > > Memories may be stored on your DNA
          > >
          > > 26 November 2008 by Devin Powell, Washington DC
          > >
          > > Magazine issue 2684.
          > >
          > > The formation of a memory
          > >
          > > REMEMBER your first kiss? Experiments in mice suggest that
          patterns
          > > of chemical "caps" on our DNA may be responsible for preserving
          such
          > > memories.
          > >
          > > To remember a particular event, a specific sequence of neurons
          must
          > > fire at just the right time. For this to happen, neurons must be
          > > connected in a certain way by chemical junctions called synapses.
          But
          > > how they last over decades, given that proteins in the brain,
          > > including those that form synapses, are destroyed and replaced
          > > constantly, is a mystery.
          > >
          > > Now Courtney Miller and David Sweatt of the University of Alabama
          in
          > > Birmingham say that long-term memories may be preserved by a
          process
          > > called DNA methylation - the addition of chemical caps called
          methyl
          > > groups onto our DNA.
          > >
          > > Many genes are already coated with methyl groups. When a cell
          > > divides, this "cellular memory" is passed on and tells the new
          cell
          > > what type it is - a kidney cell, for example. Miller and Sweatt
          argue
          > > that in neurons, methyl groups also help to control the exact
          pattern
          > > of protein expression needed to maintain the synapses that make up
          > > memories.
          > >
          > > They started by looking at short-term memories. When caged mice
          are
          > > given a small electric shock, they normally freeze in fear when
          > > returned to the cage. However, then injecting them with a drug to
          > > inhibit methylation seemed to erase any memory of the shock. The
          > > researchers also showed that in untreated mice, gene methylation
          > > changed rapidly in the hippocampus region of the brain for an hour
          > > following the shock. But a day later, it had returned to normal,
          > > suggesting that methylation was involved in creating short-term
          > > memories in the hippocampus (Neuron, DOI:
          > > 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.02.022).
          > >
          > > To see whether methylation plays a part in the formation of long-
          term
          > > memories, Miller and Sweatt repeated the experiment, this time
          > > looking at the uppermost layers of the brain, called the cortex.
          > >
          > > They found that a day after the shock, methyl groups were being
          > > removed from a gene called calcineurin and added to another gene.
          > > Because the exact pattern of methylation eventually stabilised and
          > > then stayed constant for seven days, when the experiment ended,
          the
          > > researchers say the methyl changes may be anchoring the memory of
          the
          > > shock into long-term memory, not just controlling a process
          involved
          > > in memory formation.
          > >
          > > "We think we're seeing short-term memories forming in the
          hippocampus
          > > and slowly turning into long-term memories in the cortex," says
          > > Miller, who presented the results last week at the Society for
          > > Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC.
          > >
          > > "The cool idea here is that the brain could be borrowing a form of
          > > cellular memory from developmental biology to use for what we
          think
          > > of as memory," says Marcelo Wood, who researches long-term memory
          at
          > > the University of California, Irvine.
          > >
          > > From issue 2684 of New Scientist magazine, page 12.
          > >
          > > Browse past issues of New Scientist magazine
          > > http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026845.000-memories-may-
          be-
          > > stored-on-your-dna.html?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=mg20026845.000
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
        • Edgar Owen
          Artemis, OK, you raise a valid point re salmon migration. There obviously is no cultural transmission of migration paths there. We must assume that the
          Message 4 of 15 , Dec 2, 2008
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            Artemis,

            OK, you raise a valid point re salmon migration. There obviously is
            no cultural transmission of migration paths there. We must assume
            that the compulsion to return to birth waters to breed is in fact
            software transmitted genetically via DNA. That along with a GPS
            navigation system should solve the problem.

            Edgar



            On Dec 2, 2008, at 9:03 AM, artemistroy wrote:

            > OK, and I'm no expert on salmon reproductive behavior, as an example,
            > but how do the hatchlings know that when they're adults, they have to
            > migrate to the place of their birth to repeat the process? Do they
            > attend salmon cultural training school to learn how to do this? I
            > suggest the behavior is instinctual, coded in their DNA. It has been
            > shown that salmon do not know when they're crossing the Canadian/U.S.
            > border to spawn, which suggests that their behavior is extremely
            > ancient. :~)
            >
            > Since humans are primates that are descended from an ancestor
            > possibly 35 million years ago, why should it be assumed that
            > differences in human behavior and traits are not coded in human DNA?
            > Research continues to reveal many more differences in humans
            > (currently numbering around 6 billion) as may be found in other
            > species.
            >
            > Perhaps members familiar with this topic can contribute some examples
            > of culture versus instinct, and how long it would take culture and
            > biology to coalesce. Note, too, that humans are born with the ability
            > to acquire language, but this trait must be triggered and reinforced
            > by languaging humans, even with respect to non-hearing individuals.
            >
            > This is exciting research, to say the least.
            >
            > Artemis
            >
            > "We think we're seeing short-term memories forming in the hippocampus
            > and slowly turning into long-term memories in the cortex," says
            > Miller, who presented the results last week at the Society for
            > Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC.
            >
            > "The cool idea here is that the brain could be borrowing a form of
            > cellular memory from developmental biology to use for what we think
            > of as memory," says Marcelo Wood, who researches long-term memory at
            > the University of California, Irvine.
            >
            >
            <Snip>
          • Robert Karl Stonjek
            Edgar OK, you raise a valid point re salmon migration. There obviously is no cultural transmission of migration paths there. We must assume that the compulsion
            Message 5 of 15 , Dec 2, 2008
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              Edgar
              OK, you raise a valid point re salmon migration. There obviously is no cultural transmission of migration paths there. We must assume that the compulsion to return to birth waters to breed is in fact software transmitted genetically via DNA. That along with a GPS navigation system should solve the problem.

              RKS:
              Salmon have their own GPS?  Cool.  So if I go bush-walking and can't afford a GPS I should keep a salmon in my pocket?
               
              The alternative theory is that Salmon can smell the water unique to the area of their birth and follow it home.
               
              Robert
            • Edgar Owen
              Artemis, However I do think that migrations such as those of the wildebeest which move with food sources are in fact cultural rather than genetic, and likely
              Message 6 of 15 , Dec 2, 2008
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                Artemis,

                However I do think that migrations such as those of the wildebeest which move with food sources are in fact cultural rather than genetic, and likely seasonal migrations of birds as well.

                Edgar


                On Dec 2, 2008, at 10:36 AM, Edgar Owen wrote:

                Artemis,

                OK, you raise a valid point re salmon migration. There obviously is 
                no cultural transmission of migration paths there. We must assume 
                that the compulsion to return to birth waters to breed is in fact 
                software transmitted genetically via DNA. That along with a GPS 
                navigation system should solve the problem.

                Edgar

                On Dec 2, 2008, at 9:03 AM, artemistroy wrote:

                > OK, and I'm no expert on salmon reproductive behavior, as an example,
                > but how do the hatchlings know that when they're adults, they have to
                > migrate to the place of their birth to repeat the process? Do they
                > attend salmon cultural training school to learn how to do this? I
                > suggest the behavior is instinctual, coded in their DNA. It has been
                > shown that salmon do not know when they're crossing the Canadian/U.S.
                > border to spawn, which suggests that their behavior is extremely
                > ancient. :~)
                >
                > Since humans are primates that are descended from an ancestor
                > possibly 35 million years ago, why should it be assumed that
                > differences in human behavior and traits are not coded in human DNA?
                > Research continues to reveal many more differences in humans
                > (currently numbering around 6 billion) as may be found in other
                > species.
                >
                > Perhaps members familiar with this topic can contribute some examples
                > of culture versus instinct, and how long it would take culture and
                > biology to coalesce. Note, too, that humans are born with the ability
                > to acquire language, but this trait must be triggered and reinforced
                > by languaging humans, even with respect to non-hearing individuals.
                >
                > This is exciting research, to say the least.
                >
                > Artemis
                >
                > "We think we're seeing short-term memories forming in the hippocampus
                > and slowly turning into long-term memories in the cortex," says
                > Miller, who presented the results last week at the Society for
                > Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC.
                >
                > "The cool idea here is that the brain could be borrowing a form of
                > cellular memory from developmental biology to use for what we think
                > of as memory," says Marcelo Wood, who researches long-term memory at
                > the University of California, Irvine.
                >
                >
                <Snip>


              • Edgar Owen
                Robert, How could a salmon smell the water of a tiny river from thousands of miles away in the ocean? Impossible. I know that s the usual explanation but I
                Message 7 of 15 , Dec 2, 2008
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                  Robert,

                  How could a salmon smell the water of a tiny river from thousands of miles away in the ocean? Impossible. I know that's the usual explanation but I rather doubt rivers smell the same from month to month, much less 30 years later when the salmon return to spawn. GPS is a much more parsimonious explanation. That could be based on magnetic field lines eg. Then when the salmon actually reach the place they were born there could well be some remembrance involved.

                  Edgar



                  On Dec 2, 2008, at 6:00 PM, Robert Karl Stonjek wrote:


                  Edgar
                  OK, you raise a valid point re salmon migration. There obviously is no cultural transmission of migration paths there. We must assume that the compulsion to return to birth waters to breed is in fact software transmitted genetically via DNA. That along with a GPS navigation system should solve the problem.

                  RKS:
                  Salmon have their own GPS?  Cool.  So if I go bush-walking and can't afford a GPS I should keep a salmon in my pocket?
                   
                  The alternative theory is that Salmon can smell the water unique to the area of their birth and follow it home.
                   
                  Robert


                • artemistroy
                  Robert, what do you mean by alternative theory ? Do salmon smell their way back to their birthplace or not? Artemis ... no cultural transmission of migration
                  Message 8 of 15 , Dec 2, 2008
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                    Robert, what do you mean by "alternative theory"? Do salmon smell
                    their way back to their birthplace or not?

                    Artemis

                    --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Karl Stonjek"
                    <stonjek@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Edgar
                    >
                    > OK, you raise a valid point re salmon migration. There obviously is
                    no cultural transmission of migration paths there. We must assume
                    that the compulsion to return to birth waters to breed is in fact
                    software transmitted genetically via DNA. That along with a GPS
                    navigation system should solve the problem.
                    >
                    >
                    > RKS:
                    > Salmon have their own GPS? Cool. So if I go bush-walking and
                    can't afford a GPS I should keep a salmon in my pocket?
                    >
                    > The alternative theory is that Salmon can smell the water unique to
                    the area of their birth and follow it home.
                    >
                    > Robert
                    >
                  • Robert Karl Stonjek
                    Artemis ... RKS: The precise method salmon use to navigate has not been entirely established, though their keen sense of smell is involved.
                    Message 9 of 15 , Dec 2, 2008
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                      Artemis

                      > Robert, what do you mean by "alternative theory"? Do salmon smell
                      > their way back to their birthplace or not?
                      >
                      RKS:
                      "The precise method salmon use to navigate has not been entirely established, though their keen sense of smell is involved."
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon
                       
                      Robert
                    • artemistroy
                      Edgar, I never said that I thought all behavior is instinctual but, rather, that what is believed to be memory can be stored in the DNA and is heritable. That
                      Message 10 of 15 , Dec 2, 2008
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                        Edgar,

                        I never said that I thought all behavior is instinctual but, rather,
                        that what is believed to be memory can be stored in the DNA and is
                        heritable. That is, there is no reason to suppose that humans are not
                        subject to the same biological/instinctual processes as other
                        animals, as per the study.

                        Artemis

                        --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Edgar Owen
                        <edgarowen@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Artemis,
                        >
                        > However I do think that migrations such as those of the wildebeest
                        > which move with food sources are in fact cultural rather than
                        > genetic, and likely seasonal migrations of birds as well.
                        >
                        > Edgar
                        >
                        >
                        > On Dec 2, 2008, at 10:36 AM, Edgar Owen wrote:
                        >
                        > > Artemis,
                        > >
                        > > OK, you raise a valid point re salmon migration. There obviously
                        is
                        > > no cultural transmission of migration paths there. We must assume
                        > > that the compulsion to return to birth waters to breed is in fact
                        > > software transmitted genetically via DNA. That along with a GPS
                        > > navigation system should solve the problem.
                        > >
                        > > Edgar
                        > >
                        > > On Dec 2, 2008, at 9:03 AM, artemistroy wrote:
                        > >
                        > > > OK, and I'm no expert on salmon reproductive behavior, as an
                        > > example,
                        > > > but how do the hatchlings know that when they're adults, they
                        > > have to
                        > > > migrate to the place of their birth to repeat the process? Do
                        they
                        > > > attend salmon cultural training school to learn how to do this?
                        I
                        <snip>
                      • artemistroy
                        How salmon, sea turtles find their way home It s been an enduring mystery that has spurred a sense of wonder for years: How do salmon and sea turtles know how
                        Message 11 of 15 , Dec 2, 2008
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                          How salmon, sea turtles find their way home

                          It's been an enduring mystery that has spurred a sense of wonder for
                          years: How do salmon and sea turtles know how to find their way back,
                          after thousands of miles of wandering, to the stream or beach where
                          they were born?

                          Hi honey -- I'm home!
                          Photo/William Irwin, UNC Chapel Hill

                          Some smart folks at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
                          think they may have the answer: The animals' brains focus on
                          an "address" on the Earth based on the Earth's magnetic field. That
                          magnetic field is different -- yes, unique, in the actual sense of
                          that oft-misused word -- at every point on the globe.

                          This isn't an entirely new concept. Previous studies have show[n]
                          these critters use the magnetic field to guide them as they leave
                          their birthplace and seek to thrive by, for example, finding a rich
                          supply of food. Now, in a study being published this week in the
                          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers advance
                          the idea that they also find home this way.

                          Around here, the salmon all head out the rivers to the Pacific and
                          turn right, traveling improbably far distances to Alaska and points
                          beyond, research shows. Then they come home -- the theory being that
                          if that was good enough for them, it's good enough for their kids,
                          they walked two miles to school in the snow and liked it, yadda yadda
                          yadda.

                          The UNC scientists theorize that because the Earth's magnetic field
                          changes slightly over time, it probably only guides the turtles and
                          salmon back to the general neighborhood in which they were born; then
                          they use some other sense -- smell? that's certainly what seems to be
                          going on with the super-sensitive noses of salmon -- to get to the
                          exact right spot.

                          Because of the changing magnetic field, we wonder if this might also
                          affect a curious aspect of salmon behavior (that likely is also a
                          help trait evolutionarily): straying.

                          Is there a practical use for this knowledge? (We hate that question,
                          but we know you're asking it anyway.) Well, maybe, says UNC biology
                          prof Kenneth Lohmann, lead author:

                          Ideally, it might be possible to steer turtles to protected areas
                          where we would like them to nest. It might also be possible to use
                          magnetic imprinting to help re-establish salmon populations in rivers
                          where the original population has been wiped out.

                          More in UNC's press release. That's more than you'll get from the
                          PNAS abstract, which will be posted later this week. PNAS subscribers
                          who are gluttons for punishment can read the whole study. Want more?
                          Check Lohmann's website.


                          Close
                          Posted by Robert McClure at December 2, 2008 1:26 p.m.
                          Category: Salmon
                          Comments
                          http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/environment/archives/155529.asp


                          --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Edgar Owen
                          <edgarowen@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Robert,
                          >
                          > How could a salmon smell the water of a tiny river from thousands
                          of
                          > miles away in the ocean? Impossible. I know that's the usual
                          > explanation but I rather doubt rivers smell the same from month to
                          > month, much less 30 years later when the salmon return to spawn.
                          GPS
                          > is a much more parsimonious explanation. That could be based on
                          > magnetic field lines eg. Then when the salmon actually reach the
                          > place they were born there could well be some remembrance involved.
                          >
                          > Edgar
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > On Dec 2, 2008, at 6:00 PM, Robert Karl Stonjek wrote:
                          >
                          > >
                          > > Edgar
                          > > OK, you raise a valid point re salmon migration. There obviously
                          is
                          > > no cultural transmission of migration paths there. We must
                          assume
                          > > that the compulsion to return to birth waters to breed is in
                          fact
                          > > software transmitted genetically via DNA. That along with a GPS
                          > > navigation system should solve the problem.
                          > >
                          > > RKS:
                          > > Salmon have their own GPS? Cool. So if I go bush-walking and
                          > > can't afford a GPS I should keep a salmon in my pocket?
                          > >
                          > > The alternative theory is that Salmon can smell the water unique
                          to
                          > > the area of their birth and follow it home.
                          > >
                          > > Robert
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • Edgar Owen
                          Artemis, Yes, but that does not consist of memories of specific events as you implied, but software instructions for basic functioning of any organism s
                          Message 12 of 15 , Dec 3, 2008
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Artemis,

                            Yes, but that does not consist of memories of specific events as you implied, but software instructions for basic functioning of any organism's (including human) biological hardware.

                            Edgar



                            On Dec 2, 2008, at 9:33 PM, artemistroy wrote:

                            Edgar,

                            I never said that I thought all behavior is instinctual but, rather, 
                            that what is believed to be memory can be stored in the DNA and is 
                            heritable. That is, there is no reason to suppose that humans are not 
                            subject to the same biological/instinct ual processes as other 
                            animals, as per the study.

                            Artemis 

                            --- In evolutionary- psychology@ yahoogroups. com, Edgar Owen 
                            <edgarowen@. ..> wrote:
                            >
                            > Artemis,
                            > 
                            > However I do think that migrations such as those of the wildebeest 
                            > which move with food sources are in fact cultural rather than 
                            > genetic, and likely seasonal migrations of birds as well.
                            > 
                            > Edgar
                            > 
                            > 
                            > On Dec 2, 2008, at 10:36 AM, Edgar Owen wrote:
                            > 
                            > > Artemis,
                            > >
                            > > OK, you raise a valid point re salmon migration. There obviously 
                            is
                            > > no cultural transmission of migration paths there. We must assume
                            > > that the compulsion to return to birth waters to breed is in fact
                            > > software transmitted genetically via DNA. That along with a GPS
                            > > navigation system should solve the problem.
                            > >
                            > > Edgar
                            > >
                            > > On Dec 2, 2008, at 9:03 AM, artemistroy wrote:
                            > >
                            > > > OK, and I'm no expert on salmon reproductive behavior, as an 
                            > > example,
                            > > > but how do the hatchlings know that when they're adults, they 
                            > > have to
                            > > > migrate to the place of their birth to repeat the process? Do 
                            they
                            > > > attend salmon cultural training school to learn how to do this? 
                            I
                            <snip>


                          • Edgar Owen
                            Thanks Artemis, It s always nice when scientists actually agree with me for a change! This is exactly what I proposed, that the earth s magnetic field which
                            Message 13 of 15 , Dec 3, 2008
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Thanks Artemis,

                              It's always nice when scientists actually agree with me for a change! This is exactly what I proposed, that the earth's magnetic field which changes little over time provides a GPS system for the salmon's return. As I said there could be some recognition (remembrance) involved when the salmon draw close.

                              Edgar



                              On Dec 2, 2008, at 10:10 PM, artemistroy wrote:

                              How salmon, sea turtles find their way home

                              It's been an enduring mystery that has spurred a sense of wonder for 
                              years: How do salmon and sea turtles know how to find their way back, 
                              after thousands of miles of wandering, to the stream or beach where 
                              they were born? 

                              Hi honey -- I'm home!
                              Photo/William Irwin, UNC Chapel Hill

                              Some smart folks at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
                              think they may have the answer: The animals' brains focus on 
                              an "address" on the Earth based on the Earth's magnetic field. That 
                              magnetic field is different -- yes, unique, in the actual sense of 
                              that oft-misused word -- at every point on the globe.

                              This isn't an entirely new concept. Previous studies have show[n] 
                              these critters use the magnetic field to guide them as they leave 
                              their birthplace and seek to thrive by, for example, finding a rich 
                              supply of food. Now, in a study being published this week in the 
                              Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers advance 
                              the idea that they also find home this way. 

                              Around here, the salmon all head out the rivers to the Pacific and 
                              turn right, traveling improbably far distances to Alaska and points 
                              beyond, research shows. Then they come home -- the theory being that 
                              if that was good enough for them, it's good enough for their kids, 
                              they walked two miles to school in the snow and liked it, yadda yadda 
                              yadda.

                              The UNC scientists theorize that because the Earth's magnetic field 
                              changes slightly over time, it probably only guides the turtles and 
                              salmon back to the general neighborhood in which they were born; then 
                              they use some other sense -- smell? that's certainly what seems to be 
                              going on with the super-sensitive noses of salmon -- to get to the 
                              exact right spot.

                              Because of the changing magnetic field, we wonder if this might also 
                              affect a curious aspect of salmon behavior (that likely is also a 
                              help trait evolutionarily) : straying. 

                              Is there a practical use for this knowledge? (We hate that question, 
                              but we know you're asking it anyway.) Well, maybe, says UNC biology 
                              prof Kenneth Lohmann, lead author:

                              Ideally, it might be possible to steer turtles to protected areas 
                              where we would like them to nest. It might also be possible to use 
                              magnetic imprinting to help re-establish salmon populations in rivers 
                              where the original population has been wiped out.

                              More in UNC's press release. That's more than you'll get from the 
                              PNAS abstract, which will be posted later this week. PNAS subscribers 
                              who are gluttons for punishment can read the whole study. Want more? 
                              Check Lohmann's website.

                              Close
                              Posted by Robert McClure at December 2, 2008 1:26 p.m.
                              Category: Salmon 
                              Comments
                              http://blog. seattlepi. nwsource. com/environment/ archives/ 155529.asp

                              --- In evolutionary- psychology@ yahoogroups. com, Edgar Owen 
                              <edgarowen@. ..> wrote:
                              >
                              > Robert,
                              > 
                              > How could a salmon smell the water of a tiny river from thousands 
                              of 
                              > miles away in the ocean? Impossible. I know that's the usual 
                              > explanation but I rather doubt rivers smell the same from month to 
                              > month, much less 30 years later when the salmon return to spawn. 
                              GPS 
                              > is a much more parsimonious explanation. That could be based on 
                              > magnetic field lines eg. Then when the salmon actually reach the 
                              > place they were born there could well be some remembrance involved.
                              > 
                              > Edgar
                              > 
                              > 
                              > 
                              > On Dec 2, 2008, at 6:00 PM, Robert Karl Stonjek wrote:
                              > 
                              > >
                              > > Edgar
                              > > OK, you raise a valid point re salmon migration. There obviously 
                              is 
                              > > no cultural transmission of migration paths there. We must 
                              assume 
                              > > that the compulsion to return to birth waters to breed is in 
                              fact 
                              > > software transmitted genetically via DNA. That along with a GPS 
                              > > navigation system should solve the problem.
                              > >
                              > > RKS:
                              > > Salmon have their own GPS? Cool. So if I go bush-walking and 
                              > > can't afford a GPS I should keep a salmon in my pocket?
                              > >
                              > > The alternative theory is that Salmon can smell the water unique 
                              to 
                              > > the area of their birth and follow it home.
                              > >
                              > > Robert
                              > >
                              > >
                              >


                            • Sonny Williams
                              Artemis, Can you imagine a biological process whereby your ancestor s temporal memory could be passed on to future generations? Only if you can theortically
                              Message 14 of 15 , Dec 3, 2008
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Artemis,
                                 
                                Can you imagine a biological process whereby your ancestor's temporal memory could be passed on to future generations?  Only if you can theortically describe such a process will your speculation become something more than fiction.  Please note that I'm not talking about heritable epigenetic markers, as that's not what you're talking about.
                                 
                                Sonny Williams
                                www.clarencewilliams.net
                                sonnyw@...
                                "Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition" - Adam Smith
                                "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries" - Winston Churchill
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 1:59 PM
                                Subject: [evol-psych] Memories may be stored on your DNA

                                I've suspected for the longest time that the memories of our
                                ancestors are stored in our DNA, and that when triggered by ideas,
                                language, and events, will be emotionally expressed. Why, for
                                example, are many Westerners moved by Shakespeare, the Greek myths,
                                and Puccini, to name just a few, and those who do not possess that
                                DNA are unmoved? We can add morals. ethics, and empathy to that mix,
                                since they are not universally shared. A culture may be stored in the
                                organism's DNA, to be expressed anew with each succeeding generation
                                IF not repressed or destroyed by alien memes.

                                How do animals find a location they've never been to before, like
                                elephants, seals, birds, fish, and insects? The memories, then, must
                                be instinctual and thus heritable, necessary for survival and
                                reproduction.

                                Artemis
                                ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ ____

                                Memories may be stored on your DNA

                                26 November 2008 by Devin Powell, Washington DC

                                Magazine issue 2684.

                                The formation of a memory

                                REMEMBER your first kiss? Experiments in mice suggest that patterns
                                of chemical "caps" on our DNA may be responsible for preserving such
                                memories.

                                To remember a particular event, a specific sequence of neurons must
                                fire at just the right time. For this to happen, neurons must be
                                connected in a certain way by chemical junctions called synapses. But
                                how they last over decades, given that proteins in the brain,
                                including those that form synapses, are destroyed and replaced
                                constantly, is a mystery.

                                Now Courtney Miller and David Sweatt of the University of Alabama in
                                Birmingham say that long-term memories may be preserved by a process
                                called DNA methylation - the addition of chemical caps called methyl
                                groups onto our DNA.

                                Many genes are already coated with methyl groups. When a cell
                                divides, this "cellular memory" is passed on and tells the new cell
                                what type it is - a kidney cell, for example. Miller and Sweatt argue
                                that in neurons, methyl groups also help to control the exact pattern
                                of protein expression needed to maintain the synapses that make up
                                memories.

                                They started by looking at short-term memories. When caged mice are
                                given a small electric shock, they normally freeze in fear when
                                returned to the cage. However, then injecting them with a drug to
                                inhibit methylation seemed to erase any memory of the shock. The
                                researchers also showed that in untreated mice, gene methylation
                                changed rapidly in the hippocampus region of the brain for an hour
                                following the shock. But a day later, it had returned to normal,
                                suggesting that methylation was involved in creating short-term
                                memories in the hippocampus (Neuron, DOI:
                                10.1016/j.neuron. 2007.02.022) .

                                To see whether methylation plays a part in the formation of long-term
                                memories, Miller and Sweatt repeated the experiment, this time
                                looking at the uppermost layers of the brain, called the cortex.

                                They found that a day after the shock, methyl groups were being
                                removed from a gene called calcineurin and added to another gene.
                                Because the exact pattern of methylation eventually stabilised and
                                then stayed constant for seven days, when the experiment ended, the
                                researchers say the methyl changes may be anchoring the memory of the
                                shock into long-term memory, not just controlling a process involved
                                in memory formation.

                                "We think we're seeing short-term memories forming in the hippocampus
                                and slowly turning into long-term memories in the cortex," says
                                Miller, who presented the results last week at the Society for
                                Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC.

                                "The cool idea here is that the brain could be borrowing a form of
                                cellular memory from developmental biology to use for what we think
                                of as memory," says Marcelo Wood, who researches long-term memory at
                                the University of California, Irvine.

                                From issue 2684 of New Scientist magazine, page 12.

                                Browse past issues of New Scientist magazine
                                http://www.newscien tist.com/ article/mg200268 45.000-memories- may-be-
                                stored-on-your- dna.html? DCMP=NLC- nletter&nsref= mg20026845. 000

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