Navigation Links
NC State study finds genes important to sleep
Date:2/22/2009

For many animals, sleep is a risk: foraging for food, mingling with mates and guarding against predators just aren't possible while snoozing.

How, then, has this seemingly life-threatening behavior remained constant among various species of animals?

A new study by scientists at North Carolina State University shows that the fruit fly is genetically wired to sleep, although the sleep comes in widely variable amounts and patterns. Learning more about the genetics of sleep in model animals could lead to advances in understanding human sleep and how sleep loss affects the human condition.

The study, published online in Nature Genetics, examined the sleep and activity patterns of 40 different wild-derived lines of Drosophila melanogaster one of the model animals used in scientific studies. It found that, on average, male fruit flies slept longer than females; males slept more during the day than females; and males were more active when awake than females. Females, in turn, tended to have more frequent bouts of sleep, and thus were disrupted more from sleep, than males.

The study identified almost 1,700 genes associated with the variability of sleep in fruit flies, say study authors Dr. Trudy Mackay, William Neal Reynolds and Distinguished University Professor of Genetics and Entomology, and Dr. Susan Harbison, a post-doctoral researcher in Mackay's lab. Many of these genes were not previously known to affect sleep.

Fruit flies within each of the 40 lines were homozygous, or exactly the same genetically, but the lines were completely different from one another, Mackay says. Small glass tubes containing one fruit fly and some food were placed in a machine that uses infrared sensors to monitor the minute-by-minute activity of the flies. If at least five minutes passed without any fly activity, it was calculated as sleep.

The study predicted that certain important genes would affect sleep duration. Independent verification with mutations in those genes did indeed have an effect on how long fruit flies slept. The study also discovered teams of genes that appeared to act together to affect some portion of sleep.

"We're starting to get a glimmer of how groups of correlated genes are overrepresented in different traits, and we now know more about how traits are associated with each other at the molecular level," Mackay says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Trudy Mackay
trudy_mackay@ncsu.edu
919-515-5810
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. States expand newborn screening for life-threatening disorders
2. Press statement on new CDC MRSA study from SHEA president
3. New lab evidence suggests preventive effect of herbal supplement in prostate cancer
4. U of Minnesota research finds most road salt is making it into the states lakes and rivers
5. New equation of state of seawater
6. Statement by the Egg Nutrition Center and American Egg Board on Diabetes Care study on egg consumption
7. Researchers to use K-States BSL-3 Lab for $1 million study of fungus threatening wheat crops
8. Research shows cells inactive state is critical for effectiveness of cancer treatment
9. Understanding extinct microbes may influence the state of modern human health
10. SUNY Downstate researchers find that memory storage molecule preserves complex memories
11. American Association for the Advancement of Science honors four Iowa Staters
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2016)... BEDFORD, Mass., Feb. 9, 2016 Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... reported financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December ... Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $6.9 million, an ... last year. Operating income in the fourth quarter of 2015 was ... 2014. --> --> Higher ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016 http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) ... "Global Facial Recognition Market 2016-2020" report ... ) has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. --> ... announced the addition of the "Global ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 3, 2016 --> ... report "Automated Fingerprint Identification System Market by Component (Hardware ... (Banking & Finance, Government, Healthcare, and Transportation) and Geography ... market is expected to be worth USD 8.49 Billion ... 2015 and 2020. The transformation and technology evolution from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb. 10, 2016 NX Prenatal Inc., a ... NeXosome® technology for early warning of adverse pregnancy ... recent study by Dr. Thomas McElrath ... Maternal Fetal Medicine,s (SMFM) annual meeting held in ... , 2016.  The presentation reported initial positive top-line ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016  Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ) a ... Saunders , Allergan,s CEO and President, will be featured ... at the RBC Capital Markets Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, ... New York Palace Hotel in New York, ... and can be accessed on Allergan,s Investor Relations web ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... LATHAM, NEW ... at the SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from ... in the same venue. , These latest InGaAs PIN diode standard packages feature ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells ... with Singapore-based Global Stem Cells Network (GSCN) and its affiliate Global Medical ... the latest adipose and bone marrow therapies. , Through the new collaboration, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: