Some microbes can form memories—although, inconveniently for scientists who study the process, they don’t do it very often.
Rockefeller University researchers and their colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, have found a way to make bacteria encode memories much more frequently. Their discovery was described December 22 in Molecular Cell.
“CRISPR, the adaptive immune system found within many bacteria, remembers viruses by storing snippets of their DNA. But in nature, these recording events happen only rarely,” says senior author Luciano Marraffini, head of the Laboratory of Bacteriology.
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