Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When It Comes To Sleep Research, Fruit Flies And People Make Unlikely Bedfellows

Date:
January 16, 2009
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
You may never hear fruit flies snore, but rest assured that when you're asleep, they are too. Scientists have shown that sleep/wake cycles of fruit flies and vertebrates are regulated by some of the same "cellular machinery" as humans. This is significant because the sleep-regulating enzyme that was analyzed is one of only a few possible drug targets for circadian problems.

You may never hear fruit flies snore, but rest assured that when you're asleep they are too. According to research published in the January 2009 issue of the journal Genetics scientists from the University of Missouri-Kansas City have shown that the circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycles) of fruit flies and vertebrates are regulated by some of the same "cellular machinery" as that of humans.

Related Articles


This study is significant because the sleep-regulating enzyme analyzed in this research is one of only a few possible drug targets for circadian problems that can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), insomnia, and possibly some cancers.

"Modern society functions 24 hours a day and has produced more circadian problems than our ancestors ever faced," said Jeffrey Price, Ph.D., the senior scientist involved in the research. "I hope our work will allow us to better understand and alleviate these problems."

In addition to showing that this drug target has similar circadian functions in flies and humans, the study confirms that fruit flies are attractive and viable animal models for circadian research because their circadian "machinery" is remarkably similar to that in humans and they can be bred easily and rapidly. Moreover, this study provides compelling evidence that from an evolutionary point of view, circadian rhythms have been virtually unchanged since the days when humans and fruit flies shared a common ancestor.

Price and his colleagues made this discovery using a combination of biochemical and genetic approaches. For the biochemical approaches, normal and mutated versions of the fruit fly's sleep-regulating enzyme (DBT protein kinase) were expressed in insect cells and purified to determine how well each would work. The genetic approaches involved altering fruit flies to have the same sleep-altering gene mutations as vertebrates. The mutant proteins (either the fruit fly or vertebrate protein) were expressed in the fruit fly's circadian neurons and produced very similar effects on the fruit fly's circadian period.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25 percent of the U.S. population report not getting enough sleep on occasion, while almost 10 percent experience chronic insomnia. Insufficient sleep is associated with several diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. It also is responsible for accidents that cause substantial injury and disability each year.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "When It Comes To Sleep Research, Fruit Flies And People Make Unlikely Bedfellows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090113101118.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2009, January 16). When It Comes To Sleep Research, Fruit Flies And People Make Unlikely Bedfellows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090113101118.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "When It Comes To Sleep Research, Fruit Flies And People Make Unlikely Bedfellows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090113101118.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins