Genes,proteins and long term memory

[Added January 2005]
This fascinating article by Douglas Field on Making Memories Stick describes the mechanism how a short term memory becomes a long term memory at the level of the single neuron. For this to happen, a gene in the nucleus must be activated. This gene will produce “memory proteins” that are sent to all
neuron’s synapses but will strengthen only the particular synapse that has started the gene.
In this way a temporary activation of the synapse may become permanent.The same mechanism is also responsible , during recall, of memory reconsolidation. If protein synthesis is inhibited for some reason,
you can erase long term memories .