Fruit Fly Brains Shed Light on Why We Get Tired When We Stay Up Too Late
Fruit flys are remarkably similar to humans when it comes to sleep and sleep patterns. In a recent study, researchers from Johns Hopkins say they have identified the brain cells that are responsible for chronic sleepiness when bedtime has been delayed. These cells become more active the longer the flies are kept away. They also play a role in putting the flies to sleep as well as keeping them asleep. These findings may help in future strategies that promote sleep in humans who have been diagnosed with insomnia and who do not respond to any sleep drugs. “Although fruit flies look very different from people on the surface, they actually share many of the same genes and even behaviors,” says Mark Wu, MD, PhD, associate professor or neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “And with what we believe is the first identification a mechanism behind the adjustable nature of sleep drive, researchers can look for the same processes in mammals, including, one day, in humans.” To read more, click here.
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