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:2/8/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... an individual,s voice to match it against a ... voice such as pitch, cadence, and tone are ... systems require minimal hardware installation, as most PCs ... remotely for different transactions. Voice recognition biometrics are ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... 2017 Report Highlights ... The global synthetic-biology market reached nearly ... 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ... the global markets for synthetic biology. - Analyses of global ... projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2021. - ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... -- Report Highlights The global biosurgery market ... in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) ... - An overview of the global market for biosurgery. ... 2015 and 2016, and projections of compound annual growth ... on the basis of product type, source, application, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/18/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, Japan ... estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2015 through 2022. ... data and analytics are derived from primary and secondary research. This ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... , Feb. 17, 2017  BioGenex, a ... announce development of a novel system for quantitative ... with the University of Rochester (NY, USA) and ... The new system is able to accurately quantify ... HER2 (Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) in clinical ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... hobbyists, and DJI, the world’s leading maker of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), are ... safety officers to use drones effectively, and support educational outreach efforts. , AMA ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... EIT Digital has launched work to develop a ... studies are about to get under way for the framework, which is designed to ... concept is expected to be transferred eventually to other industries that also require efficient ...
Breaking Biology Technology: