This week’s issue of the Journal of Neuroscience contains a really cool article titled “Transgenerational Rescue of a Genetic Defect in Long-Term Potentiation and Memory Formation by Juvenile Enrichment.” Clear enough? From the abstract:
Here, we demonstrate that exposure of 15-d-old mice to 2 weeks of an enriched environment (EE), that includes exposure to novel objects, elevated social interactions and voluntary exercise, enhances long-term potentiation (LTP) not only in these enriched mice but also in their future offspring through early adolescence, even if the offspring never experience EE.
The effect lasts about three months in the mice exposed to the EE, but wanes much earlier in their offspring (and is not found in the next generation). At one point the authors note that
[T]he phenotype ends at an younger age in the offspring of enriched mice than in their parents
Then comes the fun part. A few sentences later, they say this:
Defining why the effect ends when the offspring are younger than their parents will require further experimentation
Totally sweet example of the omission of everything in the comparative clause except for the contrastive bit. Actually, it took me a couple reads to make sure of what they were saying, despite the same information having been just presented.
Processing the sentence was made more difficult (in my case) by the fact that the first time through I read “younger” as “older,” yielding a truly incomprehensible proposition (which, it should be noted, is still as grammatical as the actual sentence, just with a different meaning).
So…ever wonder if you’ve done something when you were younger than your parents? Or older than them?