Until now, searching for genes related to memory capacity has been comparable to seeking out the proverbial “needle in a haystack.” Scientists at the University of Basel made use of the CSCS supercomputer Piz Daint to discover interrelationships in the human genome that might simplify the search for “memory molecules” and eventually lead to more effective medical treatment for people with diseases that are accompanied by memory disturbance.
Every human being’s physical and mental constitution is the outcome of a complex interaction between environmental factors and the individual genetic makeup (DNA). The complete set of genes and the genetic information it stores is called the genotype. This genotype influences, among other things, a person’s memory and hence the ability to remember the past. In addition to the DNA coding, there are other factors contributing to memory capacity, such as nutrition, schooling and family homelife.
Scientists at the University of Basel from the Transfaculty Research Platform Molecular and Cognitive Neuroscience (MCN) are interested in processes related to memory performance by investigating the molecular basis of memory.