PLANT PRIONS AND MEMORY FUNCTION
The study of plant prions and memory function may help understanding of cognitive impairment and memory loss associated with various neurological disorders characterized by formation of abnormal proteins in nerve cells or neurons.
Prions are investigated in the study of problems like Cognitive Impairment and Memory Loss associated with conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease. There is accumulation of proteins that are not properly formed due to defects in the folding process.
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Decoded: This is how plants form memories of past events!
New Delhi: Prions are special proteins which help plants in collecting environmentalmemor ies and with their help plants also remember flowering and other natural processes, a new study has revealed.
According to the research, plants can form memories of past events and also make decisions with the aid of prions and then can pass this to their offspring.
A study authored by an Indian biologist, Sohini Chakrabortee, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has discovered that even plants have memory cells. An analysis was done over 20,000 plants after which a special protein called prions was discovered that plays an essential role of neurons to form their environmental memories.
Under certain circumstances, these proteins known as prions fold and also make other proteins present around them to fold as well. The memories are then formed by the damage caused in this folding process.
Prions also play an important role in flowering of plants. They are very much capable of keeping information stored for a long duration of time. The present study in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences makes the role of prions in plants very clear.