Scientists Can Now Erase Memories Like In "Eternal Sunshine" And I'm Very Here For It

Motherboard - Erasing memories of scorned lovers is no longer just a movie trope popularized in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A new study of snail neurons suggests it’s possible to wipe out specific memories in snails, and scientists think that a drug could be developed to do the same with humans in the future.

Long-term memories are moderated by synapses, essentially tubes that allow one neuron to pass along a signal to another. The properties of the synapses can increase or decrease in strength, and that’s “responsible for the maintenance of the memory,” wrote co-author Samuel Schacher, a professor of neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center, in an email. According to him, “we were able to reverse long-term changes in synaptic strength at synapses known to contribute to different forms of memories.”

In this study, published today in Current Biology, researchers from McGill University and Columbia used a marine snail called Aplysia and selectively erased certain kinds of long-term synaptic memories. They found that the strength of associative and non-associative memories are maintained by two different types of Protein Kinase M (PKM) molecules, and by blocking one of those molecules, they could decide which memory to block. 

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What a time to be alive. I’m a big fan of the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. Another film that Jim Carrey should have been nominated for Best Actor for, along with Man On The Moon, Truman Show, and both Ace Venturas. I mean, is there a better scene in film history than this?


I think not.

But back to the story at hand, scientists are now working on a way to remove individual memories like they did in Eternal Sunshine, which is extraordinary. You know that girl who broke your heart freshman year of college who you can’t get off your mind 6 years later? Erased. You know that time you saw a guy jerking off in the Atlantic City bus terminal at 4 in the morning and you can’t get that image out of your head? Erased. That time you thought it’d be a good idea to attack a website when you yourself had dozens of tweets that shamed victims of sexual assault and rape? Erased! And of course when you sucked dick for coke,

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Plus it has practical, more important uses like helping people who suffer from PTSD and other traumatizing events.

Of course it will bring up a slew of questions about if it’s natural to erase memories, but that sort of thing always happens when technology expands beyond what we could ever imagine. I mean just 10-15 years ago we never thought we’d be able to choose the gender of our children, but now using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) you can choose cells from an embryo and implant the gender of your choice using vitro fertilization (yeah I do some blog research, no biggie). So never say never when it comes to things of this nature.

PS: Eternal Sunshine is so good. Don’t watch that, or 500 Days Of Summer, with a girl though. It’ll have them crying and weeping and overthinking everything about your relationship. Just put on Finding Nemo and call it a day.


PS: Always enjoyed this video