Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biomolecular Screening
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
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 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,600+ 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

Midlife Changes in Alzheimer’s Biomarkers May Predict Dementia
Studying brain scans and cerebrospinal fluid of healthy adults, scientists have shown that changes in key biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease during midlife may help identify those who will develop dementia years later, according to new research.
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Tiny Probes Shine Brightly to Reveal the Location of Targeted Tissues
Called BRIGHTs, the tiny probes described in the online issue of Advanced Materials, bind to biomarkers of disease and, when swept by an infrared laser, light up to reveal their location.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Scientific News
RNAi Screening Trends
Understand current trends and learn which application areas are expected to gain in popularity over the next few years.
Long-sought Discovery Fills in Missing Details of Cell 'Switchboard'
A biomedical breakthrough reveals never-before-seen details of the human body’s cellular switchboard that regulates sensory and hormonal responses.
Tracking Breast Cancer Before it Grows
A team of scientists led by University of Saskatchewan researcher Saroj Kumar is using cutting-edge Canadian Light Source techniques to screen and treat breast cancer at its earliest changes.
Zebrafish Reveal Drugs that may Improve Bone Marrow Transplant
Compounds boost stem cell engraftment; could allow more matches for patients with cancer and blood diseases.
DNA Damage Seen in Patients Undergoing CT Scanning
Along with the burgeoning use of advanced medical imaging tests over the past decade have come rising public health concerns about possible links between low-dose radiation and cancer.
The Light of Fireflies for Medical Diagnostics
EPFL scientists have exploited the light of fireflies in a new method that detects biological molecules without the need for complex devices and high costs.
Vital Protein in Healthy Fertilization Process Identified
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have discovered a protein that plays a vital role in healthy egg-sperm union in mice.
Teeth Reveal Lifetime Exposures to Metals, Toxins
Researchers have identified dental biomarkers to reveal links between early iron exposure and late life brain diseases.
Simple Technology Makes CRISPR Gene Editing Cheaper
University of California, Berkeley, researchers have discovered a much cheaper and easier way to target a hot new gene editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9, to cut or label DNA.
Could a simple saliva test detect Alzheimer's?
Researchers have presented findings suggesting that a simple, non-invasive diagnostic for Alzheimer's could be within reach.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,600+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!