Scientists Discover Sleep Gene

According to this New Scientist story, scientists have found a mutation in one gene of the common fruit fly that let’s it get by with 30% less sleep.

The finding is important because it suggests the amount of sleep needed may be largely controlled by one gene, which may shed light on human sleep needs, says Chiara Cirelli at the University of Wisconsin, US. “This isn’t some obscure fly gene – there’s a homologue in mammals and humans.”

If they can transfer this to humans, we could get 30% more wakeful hours in our lifetimes. Bonus! Not quite:

There is a snag, though, since the lifespan of [the flies with the mutation] was about 30% shorter than normal.

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