This drawing illustrates how changes in the nervous system of C. elegans worms can affect behavior in future generations through small RNAs that regulate expression of certain genes. Though these so called endo-siRNAs are produced in neurons, they can impact RNAs not only in the nervous system but also within the germline, where these changes in the parental generation (P0) are passed on to future generations (F1, F2, F3) – for example giving worms the ability to move towards food under stress conditions by affecting a particular gene. This finding highlights the fascinating possibility that neuronal processes impact behavior across generations, with broad implications for understanding learning and memory.

Check out the fascinating Cell paper from the Rechavi Lab at Tel-Aviv University! 

Worm Family Tree
A worm family tree made of neurons that transmit ‘molecular memories’ across multiple generations.