Animals News

Gut molecules implicated in early death from sleep deprivation

Poor sleep is known to affect human health in all kinds of harmful ways, with studies linking it to everything from obesity and loneliness, to cardiovascular disease and early death. Scientists at Harvard University have been exploring these connections in animal models and found a type of molecule that appears to play a facilitating role in premature death, raising the prospect of new treatments and furthering our understanding of the mysteries of sleep.To investigate how sleep deprivation can be a driver of early death the Harvard scientists turned to the trusty fruit fly, often used as a model in medical research due to the many genes that it shares with humans, including those that regulate sleep.The scientists set up an experiment where fruit flies were placed in individual tubes, with some genetically manipulated to express proteins that suppress sleep at warmer temperatures. After 10 days of this heat-induced sleep deprivation, mortality began to take off and by around day 20, all of the fruit flies were dead. T
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