Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Unusual Comparison Nets New Sleep Loss Marker

Published: Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Paul Shaw, PhD, a researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, uses what he learns in fruit flies to look for markers of sleep loss in humans.

Shaw reverses the process in a new paper, taking what he finds in humans back to the flies and gaining new insight into humans as a result: identification of a human gene that is more active after sleep deprivation.

“I’m calling the approach cross-translational research,” says Shaw, associate professor of neurobiology. “Normally we go from model to human, but there’s no reason why we can’t take our studies from human to model and back again.”

Shaw and his colleagues plan to use the information they are gaining to create a panel of tests for sleep loss. The tests may one day help assess a person’s risk of falling asleep at the wheel of a car or in other dangerous contexts.

PLOS One published the results on April 24.

Scientists have known for years that sleep disorders and disruption raise blood serum levels of interleukin 6, an inflammatory immune compound. Shaw showed that this change is also detectable in saliva samples from sleep-deprived rats and humans.

Based on this link, Shaw tested the activity of other immune proteins in humans to see if any changed after sleep loss. The scientists took saliva samples from research participants after they had a normal night’s sleep and after they stayed awake for 30 hours. They found two immune genes whose activity levels rose during sleep deprivation.

“Normally we would do additional human experiments to verify these links,” Shaw says. “But those studies can be quite expensive, so we thought we’d test the connections in flies first.”

The researchers identified genes in the fruit fly that were equivalent to the human genes, but their activity didn’t increase when flies lost sleep. When they screened other, similar fruit fly genes, though, the scientists found one that did.

“We’ve seen this kind of switch happen before as we compared families of fly genes and families of human genes,” Shaw says. “Sometimes the gene performing a particular role will change, but the task will still be handled by a gene in the same family.”

When the scientists looked for the human version of the newly identified fly marker for sleep deprivation, they found ITGA5 and realized it hadn’t been among the human immune genes they screened at the start of the study. Testing ITGA5 activity in the saliva samples revealed that its activity levels increased during sleep deprivation.

“We will need more time to figure out how useful this particular marker will be for detecting sleep deprivation in humans,” Shaw says. “In the meantime, we’re going to continue jumping between our flies and humans to maximize our insights.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,400+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Bacteriophages Demonstrate Vast Diversity
Microbial habitats worldwide likely shaped by RNA viruses that eat bacteria.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
New Handheld, Pen-Sized Microscope to ID Cancer Cells
Surgeons removing a malignant brain tumor don’t want to leave cancerous material behind. But they’re also trying to protect healthy brain matter and minimize neurological harm.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Uncovering Hard-to-Detect Cancer Mutations
Findings could help identify patients who would benefit from existing drugs.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
$8 Million to Study Gene-Lifestyle Interactions on Heart Health
Four-year grant will support the first large-scale, multiethnic statistical analysis of risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Study Offers Clues to Cause of Kids’ Brain Tumors
Insights from a genetic condition that causes brain cancer are helping scientists better understand the most common type of brain tumor in children.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Scientific News
Cell Transplant Treats Parkinson’s in Mice
A University of Wisconsin—Madison neuroscientist has inserted a genetic switch into nerve cells so a patient can alter their activity by taking designer drugs that would not affect any other cell.
Understanding Female HIV Transmission
Glowing virus maps points of entry through entire female reproductive tract for first time.
Genetic Markers Influence Addiction
Differences in vulnerability to cocaine addiction and relapse linked to both inherited traits and epigenetics, U-M researchers find.
A lncRNA Regulates Repair of DNA Breaks in Breast Cancer Cells
Findings give "new insight" into biology of tough-to-treat breast cancer.
Detection of HPV in First-Void Urine
Similar sensitivity of HPV test on first void urine sample compared to cervical smear.
Shape Of Tumor May Affect Whether Cells Can Metastasize
Illinois researchers found that the shape of a tumor may play a role in how cancer cells become primed to spread.
Computational Model Finds New Protein-Protein Interactions
Researchers at University of Pittsburgh have discovered 500 new protein-protein interactions (PPIs) associated with genes linked to schizophrenia.
MicroRNA Pathway Could Lead to New Avenues for Leukemia Treatment
Cancer researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found a particular signaling route in microRNA (miR-22) that could lead to targets for acute myeloid leukemia, the most common type of fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Analysis of Dog Genome will Provide Insight into Human Disease
An important model in studying human disease, the non-coding RNA of the canine genome is an essential starting point for evolutionary and biomedical studies – according to a new study led by The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC).
New Insights into Gene Regulation
Researchers have solved the three-dimensional structure of a gene repression complex that is known to play a role in cancer.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!