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New Sleep Gene Discovered, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Study


2/5/2014 6:59:03 AM

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All creatures great and small, including fruitflies, need sleep. Researchers have surmised that sleep – in any species — is necessary for repairing proteins, consolidating memories, and removing wastes from cells. But, really, sleep is still a great mystery. The timing of when we sleep versus are awake is controlled by cells in tune with circadian rhythms of light and dark. Most of the molecular components of that internal clock have been worked out. On the other hand, how much we sleep is regulated by another process called sleep homeostasis, however little is known about its molecular basis.

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