Many studies have linked more sleep to better memory, but new research in fruit flies at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis demonstrates that extra sleep helps the brain overcome catastrophic neurological defects that otherwise would block memory formation.
Yehuda Ben-Shahar and his team at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered that some mRNAs have a side job unrelated to making the protein they encode. They act as regulatory molecules as well, preventing other genes from making protein by marking their mRNA molecules for destruction.
Rather than count sheep, drink warm milk or listen to soothing music, many insomniacs probably wish for a switch they can flick to put themselves to sleep. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, including Paul Shaw, PhD, have discovered such a switch in the brains of fruit flies.
A protein that helps the brain develop early in life can fight the mental fuzziness induced by sleep deprivation, according to Paul Shaw, PhD, a researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
As anyone who has ever struggled to keep his or her eyes open after a big meal knows, eating can induce sleepiness. New research in fruit flies suggests that, conversely, being hungry may provide a way to stay awake without feeling groggy or mentally challenged.