Well, this is frightening. All the science fiction scenarios of wiping a person’s memory for nefarious reasons should be here soon with this breakthrough.

Scientists erase rat’s memory

Scientists at MIT have managed to erase the long-term memories of rats, in a first-ever experiment that could lead to medical treatments for humans, according to a report from the New Scientist.

In the experiment, neuroscientists from MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory targeted the hippocampus, an area of the brain that’s key to forming and maintaining memory. They manipulated synapses in the rat’s hippocampus in order to erase long-term memories, and study how the rat learns, without affecting the animal’s short-term memory, according to the story.

The findings could lead to methods for augmenting memory in patients with brain-debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s, according to New Scientist. The research was reported in this week’s issue of the journal Science.

  1. Never Look Back says:

    Fantastic. Where can I signup to erase the memories of my last girlfriend?

  2. DeeCee says:

    We might all forget the Alamo!

  3. Jim Dermitt says:

    Good SciFi always becomes reality. I knew a guy working on a Chrysler that would run on water. It was more fiction than science. You could not convince him that it wouldn’t work. If it does work, forget about high gas prices. They have aircraft that can run on electric power. I guess it’s more fun to watch all the airlines go under as jet fuel costs soar. A 747 running on fuelcells would be a very disruptive technology. It would cost Iran and oil rich nations billions of dollars in lost oil revenues. They can erase memory, they just can’t erase the future. We are becoming an oil poor nation developing technology that we can’t use or that helps us not to remember. Remember not to forget the things that made you glad.

  4. Jim Dermitt says:

    My neighbor has been erasing rat memories for years. He has a couple of cats and once they catch a rat, forget about it. The rat can’t remember a thing. The upside is that the rat is also dead. You can’t beat a cat for wiping out the memory of a rat. It’s good to see that science is now creating zombie rats. Call George Romero, it’s time for Night of the Living Rats.

  5. Anon says:

    Just in time for the election. Why should FOX News do all the work?

  6. OhForTheLoveOf says:


    Nice 🙂

  7. James says:

    Yes, #5. Because every news story is somehow related to the evils of the Bush administration, Fox News, and/or republicans.

  8. Anon says:

    Sorry. When I hear mind manipulation and Alzheimer’s, I think FOX News and the GOP.

  9. James says:

    Sorry, I’m just sick of hearing the same lame joke on every story I read here or on Digg or Slashdot.

  10. Angel H. Wong says:

    #9 that’s because jokes about tree hugging, equal rights, pot smoking Democrats are boring.

  11. Steve S says:

    I forgot what I was going to say ;-(

  12. Mr. H. Fusion says:

    #11, do you know how I got here?

  13. João PT says:

    Such machine exists for years and years, and since it’s so effective people forget how it used to be before it, and in fact they don’t notice it anymore.

    It’s called TV and works like the Magician’s left hand: always calls your attention elsewhere.

  14. Jim Dermitt says:

    I totally agree that TV wipes memory. An added feature is that it can also rewrite data to the erased areas of the brain. People are being reprogrammed by CBS and can’t resist the desire to be on Survivor or Big Brother. I was watching Cold Case and nobody was even drinking beer. What’s up with that?

  15. jewel says:

    They cannot erase memories at all. They are full of baloney. It has been over a year now since this article was published and they have not erased a memory yet. They should not make these exagerrated claims, it only produces false hope for people who suffer with severe ptsd such as myself. I would erase all my memories if I could to clear my mind.


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