Do memories have mass?

Do memories have mass?

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If it were possible to live forever, would our brains grow infinitely with the number of memories that we store? Or would we remove old memories as we create new ones?

You would need to live a long, long, long, long time for this to become remotely problematic.

Your question seems to suppose that a memory is "stored" by a neuron, and since neurons have mass, then the more memories we have the more our brains will weigh. Actually, neurogenesis is pretty rare in the adult brain--most of the cortex is fixed, and new neurons do not grow. (The hippocampus is the best known counterexample, but it's important to note that contrary to lore, the hippocampus doesn't store memories per sé, though it is involved in the formation and retrieval of memories).

Memories are represented in the brain as patterns of firing neurons. Let's say, for simplicity, that each neuron can either be on or off. Since there are 86 billion neurons in the brain, we can experience 2^86bn possible brain states. That's a lot.

Of course there are a lot of simplifications here--most notably, there is a lot of structure to the brain, and so i'm not suggesting you can store 2^86bn memories--but the logic is the same. Even with only 1,000 neurons, we can store a ridiculous amount of information (2^1000).

I would like to comment on MCM's answer as well, because I don't think it's true that we "remove" old memories. Or rather, the topic is still being debated in cognitive science today. For an old take on it, see renowned memory researcher Endel Tulving's (1974) article, in which he says:

When we forget something we once knew, it does not necessarily mean that the memory trace has been lost; it may only be inaccessible

The idea is that some memories are suppressed (no, not repressed), being rendered inaccessible. Robert Bjork and John Anderson have (separately) done some nice work in this area.

So before you worry about this becoming a problem, I suspect you need to work out the secret of immortality first.

Tulving, E. (1974). Cue-Dependent Forgetting: When we forget something we once knew, it does not necessarily mean that the memory trace has been lost; it may only be inaccessible. American Scientist, 74-82.

We already remove old ones and create new ones. I doubt you remember most of Geometry, for instance.

As for capacity, this article from Scientific American gives a good overview of what we can estimate with our current knowledge.

For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage.

The brain's exact storage capacity for memories is difficult to calculate. First, we do not know how to measure the size of a memory. Second, certain memories involve more details and thus take up more space; other memories are forgotten and thus free up space. Additionally, some information is just not worth remembering in the first place.

So, there is an upper limit. Where is it? Well, probably a bit longer than our reasonable lifespan at the moment.

We already remove old memories (well, more properly unimportant ones) partially in order to make room for new ones

There are 3 different levels of storage, but none of them involve an increase of mass. (Distribution of mass, in one sense, but not amount thereof.) I'm not a neuroscientist, but there are one or two lurking around here who can correct anything wrong that I say, so don't take me as an authority. As I understand it: the first level is strictly electrochemical and very short-lived (except in some savants), such as what was the last word that you heard or the last time that you cracked your knuckles. Once the experience is over, it is forgotten. The second is just chemical, as proteins or whatever organize themselves into patterns that are essentially "books". That is what happens with stuff that you need to keep, such as school lessons, tax laws, or whatever. The third is DNA transcription, wherein a memory becomes an intrinsic part of your existence and might be inherited (as in "instinct" or even transplanted to another person.

Remember That? No You Don’t. Study Shows False Memories Afflict Us All

Correction appended 11/20/13, 10:18 AM

It’s easy enough to explain why we remember things: multiple regions of the brain — particularly the hippocampus — are devoted to the job. It’s easy to understand why we forget stuff too: there’s only so much any busy brain can handle. What’s trickier is what happens in between: when we clearly remember things that simply never happened.

The phenomenon of false memories is common to everybody — the party you’re certain you attended in high school, say, when you were actually home with the flu, but so many people have told you about it over the years that it’s made its way into your own memory cache. False memories can sometimes be a mere curiosity, but other times they have real implications. Innocent people have gone to jail when well-intentioned eyewitnesses testify to events that actually unfolded an entirely different way.

What’s long been a puzzle to memory scientists is whether some people may be more susceptible to false memories than others — and, by extension, whether some people with exceptionally good memories may be immune to them. A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences answers both questions with a decisive no. False memories afflict everyone — even people with the best memories of all.

To conduct the study, a team led by psychologist Lawrence Patihis of the University of California, Irvine, recruited a sample group of people all of approximately the same age and divided them into two subgroups: those with ordinary memory and those with what is known as highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM). You’ve met people like that before, and they can be downright eerie. They’re the ones who can tell you the exact date on which particular events happened — whether in their own lives or in the news — as well as all manner of minute additional details surrounding the event that most people would forget the second they happened.

To screen for HSAM, the researchers had all the subjects take a quiz that asked such questions as “[On what date] did an Iraqi journalist hurl two shoes at President Bush?” or “What public event occurred on Oct. 11, 2002?” Those who excelled on that part of the screening would move to a second stage, in which they were given random, computer-generated dates and asked to say the day of the week on which it fell, and to recall both a personal experience that occurred that day and a public event that could be verified with a search engine.

“It was a Monday,” said one person asked about Oct. 19, 1987. “That was the day of the big stock-market crash and the cellist Jacqueline du Pré died that day.” That’s some pretty specific recall. Ultimately, 20 subjects qualified for the HSAM group and another 38 went into the ordinary-memory category. Both groups were then tested for their ability to resist developing false memories during a series of exercises designed to implant them.

In one, for example, the investigators spoke with the subjects about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and mentioned in passing the footage that had been captured of United Flight 93 crashing in Pennsylvania — footage, of course, that does not exist. In both groups — HSAM subjects and those with normal memories — about 1 in 5 people “remembered” seeing this footage when asked about it later.

“It just seemed like something was falling out of the sky,” said one of the HSAM participants. “I was just, you know, kind of stunned by watching it, you know, go down.”

Word recall was also hazy. The scientists showed participants word lists, then removed the lists and tested the subjects on words that had and hadn’t been included. The lists all contained so-called lures — words that would make subjects think of other, related ones. The words pillow, duvet and nap, for example, might lead to a false memory of seeing the word sleep. All of the participants in both groups fell for the lures, with at least eight such errors per person—though some tallied as many as 20. Both groups also performed unreliably when shown photographs and fed lures intended to make them think they’d seen details in the pictures they hadn’t. Here too, the HSAM subjects cooked up as many fake images as the ordinary folks.

“What I love about the study is how it communicates something that memory-distortion researchers have suspected for some time, that perhaps no one is immune to memory distortion,” said Patihis.

What the study doesn’t do, Patihis admits, is explain why HSAM people exist at all. Their prodigious recall is a matter of scientific fact, and one of the goals of the new work was to see if an innate resistance to manufactured memories might be one of the reasons. But on that score, the researchers came up empty.

“It rules something out,” Patihis said. “[HSAM individuals] probably reconstruct memories in the same way that ordinary people do. So now we have to think about how else we could explain it.” He and others will continue to look for that secret sauce that elevates superior recall over the ordinary kind. But for now, memory still appears to be fragile, malleable and prone to errors — for all of us.

(An earlier version of this story said that 70% of the subjects had word-lure mistakes. In fact, 100% of them had a minimum of eight mistakes each.)

How Are Memories Stored in the Brain?

Because memories underlie so much of our rich life as humans our ability to learn, to tell stories, even to recognize each other it's unsettling to think that it all hinges on the mass of flesh and goo between our ears.

Researchers have been able to trace memory down to the structural and even the molecular level in recent years, showing that memories are stored throughout many brain structures in the connections between neurons, and can even depend on a single molecule for their long-term stability.

How it works

The brain stores memories in two ways. Short-term memories like a possible chess move, or a hotel room number are processed in the front of the brain in a highly developed area called the pre-frontal lobe, according to McGill University and the Canadian Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction.

Short-term recollection is translated into long-term memory in the hippocampus, an area in the deeper brain. According to McGills , the hippocampus takes simultaneous memories from different sensory regions of the brain and connects them into a single "episode" of memory, for example, you may haveone memory of a dinner party rather than multiple separate memories of how the party looked, sounded , and smelled.

According to McGill, as memories are played through the hippocampus, the connections between neurons associated with a memory eventually become a fixed combination, so that if you hear a piece of music for example, you are likely to be flooded with other memories you associate with a certain episode where you heard that same music.

Images of the brain

In a brain scan, scientists see these different regions of the brain light up when someone is recalling an episode of memory, demonstrating how memories represent an index of these different recorded sensations and thoughts.

The hippocampus helps to solidify the pattern of connections that form a memory, but the memory itself depends on the solidity of the connections between individual brain cells, according to research from McGill and from New York University.

In turn, the cells of the brain depend on proteins and other chemicals to maintain their connections to each other and to communicate with one another. Scientists at NYU, the Medical College of Georgia and elsewhere have shown with experiments in animals that removing or changing just a single chemical or molecule can prevent the formation of memories, or even destroy memories that already exist.

Got a question? Email it to Life's Little Mysteries and we'll try to answer it. Due to the volume of questions, we unfortunately can't reply individually, but we will publish answers to the most intriguing questions, so check back soon.

What Happens When You Sleep?

Scientists don't know exactly how sleep enhances memory, but it appears to involve the brain's hippocampus and neocortex -- the part of the brain where long-term memories are stored. It is thought that during sleep, the hippocampus replays the events of the day for the neocortex, where it reviews and processes memories, helping them to last for the long term.

Researchers continue to investigate the stages of sleep involved in making certain types of memories. Some studies have shown that certain kinds of memories become stable during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep -- the time when you dream. Other studies have found that some types of memories are most often secured during slow-wave, deep sleep. Scientists are getting closer to understanding what sleep does to our brain, but there are still many questions to be answered.

What’s certain is that sleep is a biological necessity -- we need it to survive. Unfortunately, in this day and age, few of us are able to get the sleep we need to function our best. Experts recommend adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Although this may not be attainable every night, it should be the goal.


Human and Earth DNA, like much of the life in the galaxy, was originally seeded by an ancient humanoid race (which shared similar DNA), and allowed to evolve under Earth's unique conditions. In time, they became Earth's animal biota, and one line evolved into Humans over millions of years. Humans were compatible with many other humanoid races across the galaxy because of this shared DNA. ( TNG : " The Chase " VOY : " Distant Origin ") Many species were also affected by the same diseases across the galaxy because of the shared DNA. Some of Humanity's evolutionary ancestors included some kind of spider, amphibians, reptiles, primates, apes, and ultimately hominid proto-Humans each was a separate link in the Humans' evolutionary chain, stretching back to the origins of all lifeforms on Earth. ( TNG : " Genesis " VOY : " Threshold ")

A Human anatomical diagram

Humans evolved from australopithecines. ( TNG : " Genesis ") Several related species of humanoids, including Neanderthals, co-existed on Earth some thirty-five thousand years prior to the 22nd century. Evolutionary pressures led to the extinction of these other species. In the 22nd century, Humanity's closest living relative was the chimpanzee. ( ENT : " Dear Doctor ", " The Xindi ") Bilaterally symmetrical bipedal primates, Humans were a warm-blooded humanoid species. ( VOY : " Distant Origin " ENT : " Azati Prime ") They had two hands and two feet, each of which had five digits. The Human hand featured an opposable thumb and their fingers had multiple points of articulation. ( VOY : " Distant Origin ")

The average Human life span had gradually increased during their history largely in part to advancements in nutrition, medicine and technology improving their physiology and overall quality of life. At one point, it was only thirty-five years. ( ENT : " Similitude ") That average roughly doubled by the 20th century. During the 22nd century, it extended to about one hundred years. ( ENT : " Observer Effect ") By the early 23rd century, it was around 120 years. ( Star Trek ) By the 24th century, Humans were known to live as long as 137 years. ( TNG : " Encounter at Farpoint ") By the mid-23rd century of the alternate reality, it went up to as far as 145 years. ( Star Trek )

They had two sexes, as was common to many humanoid species. ( ENT : " Cogenitor " TNG : " The Outcast ") The female of the species was fertile once a month after she reached puberty until the onset of a biochemical stage known as menopause. ( TNG : " Manhunt ") Human gestation was significantly longer than the Bajoran five months. ( DS9 : " Body Parts ") The make-up of Human DNA structure was significant, as, with some modifications, it allowed them to crossbreed successfully with a wide range of other races across the galaxy, including Vulcans, Betazoids, and Klingons. ( TOS : " Where No Man Has Gone Before " TNG : " Encounter at Farpoint ", " The Emissary " VOY : " Caretaker ", " Faces ", " Lineage ")

On average, Humans were not as physically strong as some species such as Klingons and Vulcans. ( ENT : " Divergence " TOS : " This Side of Paradise " DS9 : " Take Me Out to the Holosuite ") They were, however, resilient in other ways. They were more adaptable to incarceration than Klingons. ( DS9 : " In Purgatory's Shadow ", " By Inferno's Light ", " Inquisition ") They could survive with one lung or kidney, despite having two of these organs initially. ( Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home VOY : " Phage ", " Fury ", " Lineage ") Humans could also go days without water and weeks without food due to their bodies' ability to conserve water and live off stored fat. ( ENT : " Strange New World ", " Shuttlepod One ") Their bodies' efficient temperature regulation allowed them to resist and survive cold temperatures that would adversely affect other species such as Cardassians and Klingons or high temperatures that would be uncomfortable for an Andorian. ( VOY : " Displaced " ENT : " The Aenar ") They also possessed more acute hearing than Cardassians. ( DS9 : " Distant Voices ")

Humans were prone to strong, occasionally overwhelming emotions, such as love, hatred, embarrassment, and elation. ( TOS : " Journey to Babel ") Such feelings extended beyond sentient species. Many Humans anthropomorphized the lower lifeforms they kept as pets. Even fictional characters could elicit Human compassion. ( ENT : " Dear Doctor ")

Humans had iron-based hemoglobin in their blood. ( TOS : " Obsession " TAS : " The Pirates of Orion ") Each individual's blood could be one of several blood types, which included AB-positive, O-negative, and B-negative. ( ENT : " Carpenter Street " DS9 : " Broken Link ", " In Purgatory's Shadow ")

Mast cell

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Mast cell, tissue cell of the immune system of vertebrate animals. Mast cells mediate inflammatory responses such as hypersensitivity and allergic reactions. They are scattered throughout the connective tissues of the body, especially beneath the surface of the skin, near blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, within nerves, throughout the respiratory system, and in the digestive and urinary tracts. Mast cells store a number of different chemical mediators—including histamine, interleukins, proteoglycans (e.g., heparin), and various enzymes—in coarse granules found throughout the cytoplasm of the cell. Upon stimulation by an allergen, the mast cells release the contents of their granules (a process called degranulation) into the surrounding tissues. The chemical mediators produce local responses characteristic of an allergic reaction, such as increased permeability of blood vessels (i.e., inflammation and swelling), contraction of smooth muscles (e.g., bronchial muscles), and increased mucus production.

German medical scientist Paul Ehrlich was the first to describe mast cells, doing so in his doctoral thesis (1878). That mast cells are involved in inflammation and allergic reactions was not realized until the mid-20th century, however, and since that time mast cells have been found to participate in other immune phenomena, including autoimmune disease and innate and adaptive immune responses.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Kara Rogers, Senior Editor.

Do memories have mass? - Biology

From the General Instruction of the Roman Missal

The Mass is made up of two parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. There are also certain rites that open and conclude the celebration.


The rites preceding the Liturgy of the Word, namely the Entrance, Greeting, Act of Penitence, Kyrie, Gloria, and Collect, have the character of a beginning, introduction, and preparation. Their purpose is to ensure that the faithful who come together as one establish communion and dispose themselves to listen properly to God's word and to celebrate the Eucharist worthily.

After the people have gathered, the Entrance chant begins as the priest enters with the deacon and ministers. The purpose of this chant is to open the celebration, foster the unity of those who have been gathered, introduce their thoughts to the mystery of the liturgical season or festivity, and accompany the procession of the priest and ministers.

When they reach the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the ministers reverence the altar with a profound bow. As an expression of veneration, moreover, the priest and deacon then kiss the altar itself as the occasion suggests, the priest also incenses the cross and the altar. When the Entrance chant is concluded, the priest stands at the chair and, together with the whole gathering, makes the Sign of the Cross. Then he signifies the presence of the Lord to the community gathered there by means of the Greeting. By this Greeting and the people's response, the mystery of the Church gathered together is made manifest.

Then the priest invites those present to take part in the Act of Penitence, which, after a brief pause for silence, the entire community carries out through a formula of general confession. The rite concludes with the priest's absolution, which, however, lacks the efficacy of the Sacrament of Penance.

After the Act of Penitence, the Kyrie is always begun, unless it has already been included as part of the Act of Penitence.

The Gloria is a very ancient and venerable hymn in which the Church, gathered together in the Holy Spirit, glorifies and entreats God the Father and the Lamb.

Next the priest invites the people to pray. All, together with the priest, observe a brief silence so that they may be conscious of the fact that they are in God's presence and may formulate their petitions mentally. Then the priest says the prayer which is customarily known as the Collect and through which the character of the celebration is expressed.


The main part of the Liturgy of the Word is made up of the readings from Sacred Scripture together with the chants occurring between them. The Homily, Profession of Faith, and Prayer of the Faithful, however, develop and conclude this part of the Mass.

The Biblical Readings

In the readings, the table of God's word is prepared for the faithful, and the riches of the Bible are opened to them. The reading of the Gospel is the high point of the Liturgy of the Word. The Liturgy itself teaches that great reverence is to be shown to it by setting it off from the other readings with special marks of honor: whether the minister appointed to proclaim it prepares himself by a blessing or prayer or the faithful, standing as they listen to it being read, through their acclamations acknowledge and confess Christ present and speaking to them or the very marks of reverence are given to the Book of the Gospels.

After the first reading comes the responsorial Psalm, which is an integral part of the Liturgy of the Word and holds great liturgical and pastoral importance, because it fosters meditation on the word of God. After the reading that immediately precedes the Gospel, the Alleluia or another chant indicated by the rubrics is sung, as required by the liturgical season. An acclamation of this kind constitutes a rite or act in itself, by which the assembly of the faithful welcomes and greets the Lord who is about to speak to them in the Gospel and professes their faith by means of the chant.

The homily is part of the Liturgy and is strongly recommended, for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an exposition of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or from the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners. (There is to be a homily on Sundays and holy days of obligation at all Masses that are celebrated with the participation of a congregation it may not be omitted without a serious reason. It is recommended on other days, especially on the weekdays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter Season, as well as on other festive days and occasions when the people come to church in greater numbers.)

The Profession of Faith

The purpose of the Symbolum or Profession of Faith, or Creed, is that the whole gathered people may respond to the word of God proclaimed in the readings taken from Sacred Scripture and explained in the homily and that they may also call to mind and confess the great mysteries of the faith by reciting the rule of faith in a formula approved for liturgical use, before these mysteries are celebrated in the Eucharist.

The Prayer of the Faithful

In the Prayer of the Faithful, the people respond in a certain way to the word of God which they have welcomed in faith and, exercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all.


At the Last Supper Christ instituted the Paschal Sacrifice and banquet by which the Sacrifice of the Cross is continuously made present in the Church whenever the priest, representing Christ the Lord, carries out what the Lord himself did and handed over to his disciples to be done in his memory. For Christ took the bread and the chalice and gave thanks he broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take, eat, and drink: this is my Body this is the cup of my Blood. Do this in memory of me." Accordingly, the Church has arranged the entire celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist in parts corresponding to precisely these words and actions of Christ:

1. At the Preparation of the Gifts, the bread and the wine with water are brought to the altar, the same elements that Christ took into his hands.

2. In the Eucharistic Prayer, thanks is given to God for the whole work of salvation, and the offerings become the Body and Blood of Christ.

3. Through the Fraction and through Communion, the faithful, though they are many, receive from the one bread the Lord's Body and from the one chalice the Lord's Blood in the same way the Apostles received them from Christ's own hands.

The Preparation of the Gifts

At the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist the gifts, which will become Christ's Body and Blood, are brought to the altar. First, the altar, the Lord's table, which is the center of the whole Liturgy of the Eucharist, is prepared by placing on it the corporal, purificator, Missal, and chalice (unless the chalice is prepared at the credence table). The offerings are then brought forward. It is praiseworthy for the bread and wine to be presented by the faithful. They are then accepted at an appropriate place by the priest or the deacon and carried to the altar. Even though the faithful no longer bring from their own possessions the bread and wine intended for the liturgy as in the past, nevertheless the rite of carrying up the offerings still retains its force and its spiritual significance.

Once the offerings have been placed on the altar and the accompanying rites completed, the invitation to pray with the priest and the prayer over the offerings conclude the preparation of the gifts and prepare for the Eucharistic Prayer.

The Eucharistic Prayer

Now the center and summit of the entire celebration begins: namely, the Eucharistic Prayer, that is, the prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification. The Eucharistic Prayer demands that all listen to it with reverence and in silence.

The chief elements making up the Eucharistic Prayer may be distinguished in this way:

a. Thanksgiving (expressed especially in the Preface): In which the priest, in the name of the entire holy people, glorifies God the Father and gives thanks for the whole work of salvation or for some special aspect of it that corresponds to the day, festivity, or season.

b. Acclamation: In which the whole congregation, joining with the heavenly powers, sings the Sanctus. This acclamation, which is part of the Eucharistic Prayer itself, is sung or said by all the people with the priest.

c. Epiclesis: In which, by means of particular invocations, the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts offered by human hands be consecrated, that is, become Christ's Body and Blood, and that the spotless Victim to be received in Communion be for the salvation of those who will partake of it.

d. Institution narrative and consecration: In which, by means of words and actions of Christ, the Sacrifice is carried out which Christ himself instituted at the Last Supper, when he offered his Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine, gave them to his Apostles to eat and drink, and left them the command to perpetuate this same mystery.

e. Anamnesis: In which the Church, fulfilling the command that she received from Christ the Lord through the Apostles, keeps the memorial of Christ, recalling especially his blessed Passion, glorious Resurrection, and Ascension into heaven.

f. Offering: By which, in this very memorial, the Church&mdashand in particular the Church here and now gathered&mdashoffers in the Holy Spirit the spotless Victim to the Father. The Church's intention, however, is that the faithful not only offer this spotless Victim but also learn to offer themselves, and so day by day to be consummated, through Christ the Mediator, into unity with God and with each other, so that at last God may be all in all.

g. Intercessions: By which expression is given to the fact that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the entire Church, of heaven as well as of earth, and that the offering is made for her and for all her members, living and dead, who have been called to participate in the redemption and the salvation purchased by Christ's Body and Blood.

h. Final doxology: By which the glorification of God is expressed and is confirmed and concluded by the people's acclamation, Amen.

Since the Eucharistic Celebration is the Paschal Banquet, it is desirable that in keeping with the Lord's command, his Body and Blood should be received by the faithful who are properly disposed as spiritual food. This is the sense of the fraction and the other preparatory rites by which the faithful are led directly to Communion.

In the Lord's Prayer a petition is made for daily food, which for Christians means preeminently the eucharistic bread, and also for purification from sin, so that what is holy may, in fact, be given to those who are holy.

The Rite of Peace follows, by which the Church asks for peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family, and the faithful express to each other their ecclesial communion and mutual charity before communicating in the Sacrament.

The priest breaks the Eucharistic Bread, assisted, if the case calls for it, by the deacon or a concelebrant. Christ's gesture of breaking bread at the Last Supper, which gave the entire Eucharistic Action its name in apostolic times, signifies that the many faithful are made one body (1 Cor 10:17) by receiving Communion from the one Bread of Life which is Christ, who died and rose for the salvation of the world.

The priest prepares himself by a prayer, said quietly, that he may fruitfully receive Christ's Body and Blood. The faithful do the same, praying silently. The priest next shows the faithful the Eucharistic Bread, holding it above the paten or above the chalice, and invites them to the banquet of Christ. Along with the faithful, he then makes an act of humility using the prescribed words taken from the Gospels.

It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord's Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and that, in the instances when it is permitted, they partake of the chalice, so that even by means of the signs Communion will stand out more clearly as a participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated.

While the priest is receiving the Sacrament, the Communion chant is begun. Its purpose is to express the communicants' union in spirit by means of the unity of their voices, to show joy of heart, and to highlight more clearly the "communitarian" nature of the procession to receive Communion.

When the distribution of Communion is finished, as circumstances suggest, the priest and faithful spend some time praying privately. If desired, a psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn may also be sung by the entire congregation.

To bring to completion the prayer of the People of God, and also to conclude the entire Communion Rite, the priest says the Prayer after Communion, in which he prays for the fruits of the mystery just celebrated.

The concluding rites consist of

a. Brief announcements, if they are necessary

b. The priest's greeting and blessing, which on certain days and occasions is enriched and expressed in the prayer over the People or another more solemn formula

c. The dismissal of the people by the deacon or the priest, so that each may go out to do good works, praising and blessing God

d. The kissing of the altar by the priest and the deacon, followed by a profound bow to the altar by the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers.

We are very interested in hearing about cases of young children who are currently spontaneously speaking about memories of a previous life. If you are a parent or a caretaker of a young child, please email our research assistant, Diane Morini at [email protected] to submit your observations and experiences of your child’s behaviors and statements about memories of a previous life.

Rest assured that only qualified study team members will have access to your report of a child’s past life memories submitted via email, and we adhere to a strict code of privacy and confidentiality in all instances. We will not disclose the names of the people involved in the account in any way, without first seeking explicit permission from the parents.

You may note that there are a few published cases in which the actual names are used in presenting details of the case. We want to assure you that this is rare and only done by special permission granted to us by the parents.

How Human Memory Works

Once a memory is created, it must be stored (no matter how briefly). Many experts think there are three ways we store memories: first in the sensory stage then in short-term memory and ultimately, for some memories, in long-term memory. Because there is no need for us to maintain everything in our brain, the different stages of human memory function as a sort of filter that helps to protect us from the flood of information that we're confronted with on a daily basis.

The creation of a memory begins with its perception: The registration of information during perception occurs in the brief sensory stage that usually lasts only a fraction of a second. It's your sensory memory that allows a perception such as a visual pattern, a sound, or a touch to linger for a brief moment after the stimulation is over.

After that first flicker, the sensation is stored in short-term memory. Short-term memory has a fairly limited capacity it can hold about seven items for no more than 20 or 30 seconds at a time. You may be able to increase this capacity somewhat by using various memory strategies. For example, a ten-digit number such as 8005840392 may be too much for your short-term memory to hold. But divided into chunks, as in a telephone number, 800-584-0392 may actually stay in your short-term memory long enough for you to dial the telephone. Likewise, by repeating the number to yourself, you can keep resetting the short-term memory clock.

Important information is gradually transferred from short-term memory into long-term memory. The more the information is repeated or used, the more likely it is to eventually end up in long-term memory, or to be "retained." (That's why studying helps people to perform better on tests.) Unlike sensory and short-term memory, which are limited and decay rapidly, long-term memory can store unlimited amounts of information indefinitely.

People tend to more easily store material on subjects that they already know something about, since the information has more meaning to them and can be mentally connected to related information that is already stored in their long-term memory. That's why someone who has an average memory may be able to remember a greater depth of information about one particular subject.

Most people think of long-term memory when they think of "memory" itself -- but most experts believe information must first pass through sensory and short-term memory before it can be stored as a long-term memory. To learn how information makes its way out of long-term memory, see the next page. We will explore how memories are recalled and what happens when a memory cannot be retrieved - a phenomenon you might call "forgetting."

Cytokine-induced memory-like natural killer cells exhibit enhanced responses against myeloid leukemia

Natural killer (NK) cells are an emerging cellular immunotherapy for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) however, the best approach to maximize NK cell antileukemia potential is unclear. Cytokine-induced memory-like NK cells differentiate after a brief preactivation with interleukin-12 (IL-12), IL-15, and IL-18 and exhibit enhanced responses to cytokine or activating receptor restimulation for weeks to months after preactivation. We hypothesized that memory-like NK cells exhibit enhanced antileukemia functionality. We demonstrated that human memory-like NK cells have enhanced interferon-γ production and cytotoxicity against leukemia cell lines or primary human AML blasts in vitro. Using mass cytometry, we found that memory-like NK cell functional responses were triggered against primary AML blasts, regardless of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) to KIR-ligand interactions. In addition, multidimensional analyses identified distinct phenotypes of control and memory-like NK cells from the same individuals. Human memory-like NK cells xenografted into mice substantially reduced AML burden in vivo and improved overall survival. In the context of a first-in-human phase 1 clinical trial, adoptively transferred memory-like NK cells proliferated and expanded in AML patients and demonstrated robust responses against leukemia targets. Clinical responses were observed in five of nine evaluable patients, including four complete remissions. Thus, harnessing cytokine-induced memory-like NK cell responses represents a promising translational immunotherapy approach for patients with AML.

Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests : The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Fig. 1. Memory-like NK cells exhibit enhanced…

Fig. 1. Memory-like NK cells exhibit enhanced functional responses against leukemia targets

Fig. 2. Multidimensional analyses define the differences…

Fig. 2. Multidimensional analyses define the differences between memory-like and control NK cells

Fig. 3. Response of memory-like NK cells…

Fig. 3. Response of memory-like NK cells to primary AML blasts is enhanced regardless of…

Fig. 4. Human memory-like NK cells control…

Fig. 4. Human memory-like NK cells control human leukemia in an NSG xenograft model

Fig. 5. Donor memory-like NK cells expand…

Fig. 5. Donor memory-like NK cells expand and proliferate in vivo in AML patients

Fig. 6. Donor memory-like NK cells display…

Fig. 6. Donor memory-like NK cells display enhanced antileukemia responses at 1 week after adoptive…


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