We need to remember. Yet there are things we would like to forget. They just hang on in there regardless of feeling and time. What is it that keeps a memory alive inside us? What is it that makes a sort of indelible imprint on our brain while other memories slip away?
We probably imagine memory as something with a fuzzy border that is impossible to grasp - a little like a piece of cloud. In the past years, however, scientists have demonstrated that our ability to remember things in a lasting fashion is in the hands of several biological molecules that are found in the hippocampus, the part of our brain where memories are formed. When a memory stirs and is chosen to be long-lasting, new proteins are synthesized and synaptic connections begin to grow. One molecule that is proving to have a central role in this process is a protein known as CPE-binding protein 3, or CPEB3 - a protein which, surprisingly, also has prion-like properties. More