Newly Discovered Gene Governs Need For Sleep When Sick

 

Genetics

 

From Neuroscience News.

 

Humans spend nearly one-third of their lives in slumber, yet sleep is still one of biology’s most enduring mysteries. Little is known about what genetic or molecular forces drive the need to sleep–until now. In a study of over 12,000 lines of fruit flies, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found a single gene, called nemuri, that increases the need for sleep. These findings are published today in Science.

The NEMURI protein fights germs with its inherent antimicrobial activity and it is secreted by cells in the brain to drive prolonged, deep sleep after an infection.

Humans spend nearly one-third of their lives in slumber, yet sleep is still one of biology’s most enduring mysteries. Little is known about what genetic or molecular forces drive the need to sleep–until now. In a study of over 12,000 lines of fruit flies, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found a single gene, called nemuri, that increases the need for sleep. These findings are published today in Science.

The NEMURI protein fights germs with its inherent antimicrobial activity and it is secreted by cells in the brain to drive prolonged, deep sleep after an infection.

 

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