The brain stores information in neurons (i.e. neural networks), and cells store information in DNA. But with DNA, this is permanent information. There is a lot of potential temporary information in the cell as well. The brain deals with temporary information in the short term memory, maybe there is something parallel in the cell. Wondering if there is any temporary or localized information cells store related to their processes such as for gene expression or their interaction with the external environment.

Maybe this looks like they have a small recombinant DNA strand that is used for creating some temporary proteins or such things to temporarily store information. Wondering if anything like this exists in cells and/or is studied.

  • $\begingroup$ Bacteria have plasmids that are separate from chromosomes. Although still DNA. $\endgroup$ – Ro Siv Mar 19 '18 at 1:51
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    $\begingroup$ Well really, that’s what RNA does. RNA expression is regulated often very tightly, and its expression often responds to changes in the environment—almost like a short-term memory. A good example in c elegans—my favorite model organism—is its response to stress. Two+ generations after starving, without any change in the actual genes of the organism (they can self fertilize, thus keeping genetics a bit constant), the gene expression changes to activate some stress response genes. So it happens short term (expression changes every minute) and even across generations. $\endgroup$ – CalendarJ Mar 19 '18 at 2:07
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    $\begingroup$ Although this question is interesting, it is also far too broad. "Temporary", for example, covers events that range from nearly instantaneous to effectively permanent. Everything from second messenger systems to epigenetic modification reflect forms of information storage, and almost every aspect of cellular biology except for DNA itself lies somewhere in between. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Mar 19 '18 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ DNA methylation (as well as other epigenetic mechanisms) also comes to mind. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Apr 3 '18 at 18:15

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