Saturday, April 30, 2005

new gene discovery may allow people to sleep less, die early

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scientists at the university of wisconsin-madison have discovered that fruit flies with one gene variant only needed 3-4 hours of sleep a day, compared with the normal 10-12 required of other fruit flies. fruit flies are a long way away from humans, but there is a gene homologous in mammals and humans, which means that clever scientists may one day be able to lower our need for sleep as much as 30%. just like fruit flies, there are some people who seem perfectly capable getting by on only 3-4 hours of sleep, which could be a simple genetic difference. the only problem is that the flies manipulated to sleep less decided to die 30% early.

but what is 30% anyway? if we really wanted that much life, people would quit smoking and exercise, and that certainly isn't going to happen - plus you get to stay up all night playing video games and being productive.

full article at new scientist

image stolen from hawaii


Rock said...

When they figure out how to sleep more let me know...

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