Why is it that we sometimes, almost immediately forget names, faces, and details? It turns out, that's not your fault at all. It is part of your brain's function to not become cognitively overwhelmed.

While the processes involved in forgetting aren't very understood just yet, scientists have discovered a protein called musashi, which is actively involved in the process of controlled memory loss.

Published in the journal Cell, it explains how memory performance significantly increased in roundworms which were modified to lack the musashi protein compared to control samples. They believe that this is the first that forgetting has been shown to be an active process. That means, your brain is purposely forgetting stuff.

The protein stops the body from producing molecules which stabilize synapses. The study found that a protein called adducin, which in contrast to musashi, stimulates the growth of synapses, helping form memories.

They go on to claim that the balance between the two competing proteins determines if memories are held on or not. The study might just be our first step into understand how we can possibly treat Alzheimer's. [Cell via Popular Science Image by illuminaut under Creative Commons license.]