Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Genes decide how many hours you sleep
Most of us need seven to eight hours of sleep a night to function well, but some people seem to need a lot less sleep. The difference is largely due to genetic variability, new research says.
 
The researchers report that two genes are required for normal slumber in fly models of sleep: taranis and Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1).
 
"Our research elucidates a new molecular pathway and a novel brain area that plays a role in controlling how long we sleep," said senior study author Kyunghee Koh, assistant professor of Neuroscience at the US's Thomas Jefferson University.
 
"There is a lot we do not understand about sleep, especially when it comes to the protein machinery that initiates the process on the cellular level."
 
The researchers examined thousands of mutant fly lines and found a mutant, called Taranis, which slept a lot less than normal flies.
 
The researchers tracked how taranis interacted with other proteins and saw that taranis bound to a known sleep regulator protein called Cyclin A.
 
Their data suggests that Taranis and Cyclin A create a molecular machine that inactivates Cdk1, whose normal function is to suppress sleep and promote wakefulness.
 
Previous research has shown that Cyclin A is expressed in a small number of neurons including a cluster of seven neurons on each side of the brain.
 
Koh and colleagues showed that these neurons are located in an area of the fly brain that corresponds with the human hypothalamus - one of the sleep centres of the human brain.
 
They saw a reduction of overall sleep when Taranis was knocked down only in these 14 neurons and when these same neurons are activated.
 
"We think this may be an arousal centre in the fly brain that Taranis helps inhibit during sleep."
 
Although the taranis protein has a human cousin, called the Trip-Br family of transcriptional regulators, it is yet unclear whether a similar system is at play in humans.
 
The study was published online in the journal Current Biology.

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Sitting down leads to increased anxiety
If you are in a sitting job, you are more likely to suffer from anxiety as a new report shows that low-energy activities that involve sitting down are associated with an increased risk of anxiety.
 
These activities, which include watching TV, working at a computer or playing electronic games are called sedentary behaviour.
 
Anxiety is a mental health illness that affects more than 27 million people.
 
Earlier studies have shown a link between sedentary behaviour and physical health problems like obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.
 
But there has been little research into the link between sedentary behaviour and mental health.
 
This is the first systematic review to examine the relationship between anxiety and sedentary behaviour.
 
"Our research showed that evidence is available to suggest a positive association between sitting time and anxiety symptoms - however, the direction of this relationship still needs to be determined through longitudinal and interventional studies," said lead researcher Megan Teychenne, lecturer at Deakin University's Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) in Australia.
 
Researchers analysed the results of nine studies that specifically examined the association between sedentary behaviour and anxiety.
 
It was found in five of the nine studies that an increase in sedentary behaviour was associated with an increased risk of anxiety.
 
In four of the studies it was found that total sitting time was associated with increased risk of anxiety.
 
The evidence about screen time (TV and computer use) was less strong but one study did find that 36 percent of high school students who had more than two hours of screen time were more likely to experience anxiety compared to those who had less than two hours.
 
The link between sedentary behaviour and anxiety could be due to disturbances in sleep patterns, social withdrawal theory and poor metabolic health.
 
The study was published in BMC Public Health.

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Delhi deputy CM's driver fined for over-speeding
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's car was found to be over-speeding last week and his driver was fined, police said on Friday.
 
Sisodia was seated in the car when his driver was found to be over-speeding while crossing the Khajuri Khas area in east Delhi.
 
"A fine of Rs.400 was imposed when Sisodia's car was found over-speeding by our interceptor vehicle on June 12 evening," Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sandeep Goel told IANS.
 
The car, with registration number DL 10 CA 0017, was stopped by a traffic police team, an officer said.
 
"As the car did not stop, it was chased by a traffic constable on a bike who later issued the challan (ticket)," the officer said.
 
On being questioned how many VIPs have been fined recently, Goel said: "It is very difficult to get the name of any VIP who was challaned recently."
 
He clarified that since the fines were issued on the name of the drivers, it was difficult to find out the name of the VIPs.
 
Replying to a question whether VIPs have priviledges on this score, Goel said: "The rules are equal for everyone."

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COMMENTS

Suketu Shah

1 year ago

This is the exanple Kejriwal's right hand man is giving Delhi!

D S Ranga Rao

1 year ago

All are equal; but some are more equal which the Police Officer may be unaware of or pretending to be so. Let the Delhi police challan the drivers of vehicles with beacons, particularly that of MPs, Union Ministers, top bureaucrats, etc., not just a small fry like that of drivers of AAP Ministers who do not have Delhi Police under them. In fact, why not introduce the same system of police in every state not under the respective state control but under a different authority outside the state? After all, all are equal, you see!

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