Tsien was trying to learn how the gene--called NR2B--helps form memories, but there was a startling result: Tsien "manufactured" a strain of rodent Einsteins, nicknamed "Doogies" aider the know-it-all character on TV's Doogie Howser, M.D.
Tsien created his Doogies by injecting a group of mouse embryos, or fertilized eggs, with an extra copy of the NR2B gene.
Meet "Doogie," an ordinary-looking, furry brown mouse.
Doogie inherited what some experts are calling the "smart" gene (hereditary instructions in all cells that determine everything from hair color to personality traits).
Once scientists better understand where memory centers are located, they might use genetic techniques similar to those that created Doogie to heighten healthy memory regions in the brain to make up for damaged ones.
They were nicknamed Doogies after a character in the American TV show Doogie Howser, MD.
Doogies did far better than other mice in memory and learning tests.