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all 36 comments

[–]searsalan 20 points21 points  (5 children)

Makes me wonder if there will ever be another virus that launches humanity to the next step of neurological capability.

[–]DeathStarTruther 7 points8 points  (0 children)

that's a very cool thought.

[–]HanhJoJo 2 points3 points  (1 child)

That's almost the same basis as quite a few horror games/movies. Resident Evil and Deadspace come to mind.

[–]username112358 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Toxoplasmosis changes people to like cats more. Does that count as the next step?

[–]anrowh 14 points15 points  (5 children)

the mitochondria in our cells originated as bacteria that our ancient ancestors’ cells absorbed

I thought this was interesting

[–]Voltryx 8 points9 points  (3 children)

Yeah it's pretty cool that this is probably how eukaryotes came to be. The same goes for chloroplasts actually, if you wanna read more about it, the theory is called the endosymbiotic theory: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbiogenesis .

[–]anrowh 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Thanks for that. They think this started happening 1.5 billion years ago. Why does that seem so relatively recent?

[–]AmbidextrousDyslexic 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Because life is approx 3.7 billion years old?

[–]anrowh 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Precisely

[–]AmbidextrousDyslexic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah, they even reproduce seperately, with their own dna, within cells! So do chloroplasts!

[–]layer11 17 points18 points  (0 children)

So the matrix was right, in a way

[–]Su3k 12 points13 points  (7 children)

Maybe we are just one big virus

[–]cowjuicer074 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You’re probably right

[–]MODN4R 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Well, we are a mass of microorganisms working together to function as one body.

So... yes!

[–]User-64 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I mean, depending on your definition of a virus anything could be a virus.

[–]Kyuthu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

To an extent. Over the years viruses have embedded themselves into and/or altered our DNA. Most people have around 8% of their DNA altered this way. We wouldn't be the same without it, though it's really cool to see something so specific as memory consolidation being a direct result.

[–]Blesss 5 points6 points  (0 children)

nothing infuriates me quite like sensationalized titles in science reporting

All Your Memories Are Stored by One Weird, Ancient Molecule

seriously?

[–]hiding_from_my_gf 1 point2 points  (3 children)

What does this mean for other animals? Especially those that lived before this occurred?

[–]DeathStarTruther 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Humans didn't exist when this occurred, so the animal that this happened to is our ancestor, and possibly the ancestor of other non-human animals.

[–]hiding_from_my_gf 3 points4 points  (1 child)

No I understand all that. I mean, there are plenty of other species that still exist from before this occurred in our own ancestors. Alligators for example. How would their brains be affected?

[–]DeathStarTruther 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Ah yeah good point. My understanding is that the researchers suspect that this or something similar has happened multiple times across multiple species, including Drosophila species.

[–]bigtexnick -2 points-1 points  (8 children)

So how exactly does this help or further medicine or some other meaningful human activity?

[–]justsomescrub 23 points24 points  (4 children)

We don't know. It COULD lead to incredible things but most all discoveries are "meaningless" in math and science at the time of discovery. That life changing mega-important super study rarely happens; when it does it is only made possible by the thousands of pages of knowledge that came before.

[–]Nejura 10 points11 points  (3 children)

Are you trying to say the cliffs of progression are built on the motes of small discoveries and its only when you look from a distance can you see the actual leap it takes to get there?

[–]rhysfen 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I am far too high to read that comment, signing off.

[–]User-64 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Something like that.

[–]AmbidextrousDyslexic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I like to look at technology like biological evolution; it's a punctuated equilibrium, small discoveries continuing steadily punctuated by massive changes when some groups suddenly connect small innocuous discoveries in new ways to bring great change.

[–]DeathStarTruther 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It helps us better understand the biochemical processes involved in memory consolidation. This could potentially lead to better understandings of diseases in which memory is impaired. But it's also valuable in its own right.

[–]Robotommy01 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's obviously too early to tell, but if it's anything similar to our discovery that bacteria play a very big part in the maintenance of our bodies and guts, then this will definitely help us understand how our brain works and how to deal with brain-related deficiencies and diseases!

[–]Rowsdower 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Understanding our origins is a meaningful human activity.