New research involving honeybees used to study the long-term complex memory process and DNA methylation’s part it in. While much simpler than humans, honey bees show the capacity to form complex, long term memories. Such as navigating to a previous food source and then routing themselves back to the hive. To test this long term memory, scientists separate the honey bees into two groups. Not only did they find DNA methylation to be useful to the long term memory process, they also discovered it’s role in teaching bees to re-learn. This makes sense, how fruitful would it be for the bees to go back to the same flower over and over again? By understanding DNA methylation’s role, we’re able to further develop our treatment for human brain diseases.
- 1The honeybee can form complex memories through processes much like those happening in human brains.
- 2When the bees were presented with sugar and a smell many times together, the presence of DNA methylation increased memory specificity.
- 3There is thought to be a genetic predisposition for dementia, but in many cases environmental factors determine whether the disease will manifest.
As such, the honeybee can form complex memories through processes much like those happening in human brains. But, the honeybee brain is simpler and they have a smaller genome. This makes them an ideal model for investigating how the different processes needed for long-term memories happen.