Sleep patterns in flies similiar to that of humans.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Circadian rhythms (Physiological aspects)
Circadian rhythms (Research)
Insomnia (Physiological aspects)
Insomnia (Research)
Pub Date: 03/22/2009
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Spring, 2009 Source Volume: 12 Source Issue: 1
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 218027808

You may not think that humans share even the remotest of traits with the common fruit fly, but a recent study conducted by scientists from the University, of Missouri-Kansas City reveals similarities between the two species, specifically in how we regulate our circadian (sleep/ wake) rhythms.

Statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that over 25% of Americans don't get the appropriate amount of sleep, while nearly 10% suffer from severe insomnia. A variety of diseases and conditions are associated with inadequate sleep, making this research extremely valuable. The sleep-regulating enzyme analyzed by researchers is unique in that it is a possible drug target for circadian problems, one that functions similarly in both flies and humans. This research not only suggests strong similarities between the circadian "machinery" of both flies and humans, but also reveals that the circadian rhythms of both organisms are shockingly similar to the days when they shared a common ancestor.

Dr. Jeffrey Price, the senior scientist involved in the research, explained a lack of sleep faced by our society: "Modern society functions 24 hours a day and has produced more circadian problems than our ancestors ever faced." It is the hope of Price and fellow researchers that their work will provide valuable insight into alleviating these problems.

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2009, January 13). When it comes to sleep research, fruit flies and people make unlikely bedfellows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 13, 2009. from
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