Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

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 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ 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 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

Single Vaccine for Chikungunya, Related Viruses May be Possible
What if a single vaccine could protect people from infection by many different viruses? That concept is a step closer to reality.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Potent Way to Boost Immunity and Fight Viruses
Findings aid antiviral drug discovery.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
New Test Detects All Viruses
A new test detects virtually any virus that infects people and animals, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where the technology was developed.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
New Clues Found to Vision Loss in Macular Degeneration
Scientists have identified a pathway that leads to the formation of atypical blood vessels that can cause blindness in people with age-related macular degeneration.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Clearance of Key Alzheimer’s Protein Dramatically Slows with Age
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified some of the key changes in the aging brain that lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer's.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Crime-Scene Compound May be Newest Tool in Fight Against Malaria
The compound that detectives spray at crime scenes to find trace amounts of blood may be used one day to kill the malaria parasite.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Diagnostic Test Developed for Enterovirus D68
researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a diagnostic test to quickly detect enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a respiratory virus that caused unusually severe illness in children last year.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
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
Stem Cells Lurking In Tumors Can Resist Treatment
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are studying how cancer stem cells make tumors harder to kill and are looking for ways to eradicate these treatment-resistant cells.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Breast Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise In Small Clinical Trial
A breast cancer vaccine designed by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is safe in patients with metastatic breast cancer.
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
$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
Protein that Delays Cell Division in Bacteria may Lead to the Identification of New Antibiotics
Scientists have worked out how two bacterial strains delay cell division when food is abundant.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Altering Eye Cells May One Day Restore Vision
Doctors may one day treat some forms of blindness by altering the genetic program of the light-sensing cells of the eye.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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
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
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
How a Genetic Locus Protects Adult Blood-Forming Stem Cells
Mammalian imprinted Gtl2 protects adult hematopoietic stem cells by restricting metabolic activity in the cells' mitochondria.
Genetic Basis of Fatal Flu Side Effect Discovered
A group of people with fatal H1N1 flu died after their viral infections triggered a deadly hyperinflammatory disorder in susceptible individuals with gene mutations linked to the overactive immune response, according to a recent study.
New Tech Vastly Improves CRISPR/Cas9 Accuracy
A new CRISPR/Cas9 technology developed by scientists at UMass Medical School is precise enough to surgically edit DNA at nearly any genomic location, while avoiding potentially harmful off-target changes typically seen in standard CRISPR gene editing techniques.
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
"Good" Mozzie Virus Might Hold Key to Fighting Human Disease
Australian scientists have discovered a new virus carried by one of the country’s most common pest mosquitoes.
Non-Disease Proteins Kill Brain Cells
Scientists at the forefront of cutting-edge research into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s have shown that the mere presence of protein aggregates may be as important as their form and identity in inducing cell death in brain tissue.
Closing the Loop on an HIV Escape Mechanism
Research team finds that protein motions regulate virus infectivity.
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Potential Treatment for Life-Threatening Viral Infections Revealed
The findings point to new therapies for Dengue, West Nile and Ebola.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

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
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos