Neurogenesis and the sleeping fly

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Science  23 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6382, pp. 1374-1375
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6382.1374-f

As we have all experienced, the body's alertness, cognitive abilities, and stress threshold depend on obtaining sufficient sleep. But why? Studies suggest that sleep is needed to set up the right brain connections. Szuperak et al. looked at the earliest stages of sleep by monitoring fruitfly larvae. To test for periods of rest, or sleep, they tried to arouse larvae by exposing them to a bright light. Fly larvae were indeed aroused from periods of rest, and as a result of this sleep disruption, they slept more at a later time, like other animals. Sleep-deprived larvae also showed decreased neurogenesis. This work suggests that flies may be a model for sleep, with possible implications for brain development.

eLife 10.7554/eLife.33220.001 (2018).

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