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Turn off consiousness- turn on sleep

slo1
Posts: 4,354
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9/22/2014 7:04:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

"To get the precision required for these experiments, we introduced a virus into the PZ that expressed a 'designer' receptor on GABA neurons only but didn't otherwise alter brain function," explains Patrick Fuller, assistant professor at Harvard and senior author on the paper. "When we turned on the GABA neurons in the PZ, the animals quickly fell into a deep sleep without the use of sedatives or sleep aids."

How these neurons interact in the brain with other sleep and wake-promoting brain regions still need to be studied, the researchers say, but eventually these findings may translate into new medications for treating sleep disorders, including insomnia, and the development of better and safer anesthetics.

"We are at a truly transformative point in neuroscience," says Bass, "where the use of designer genes gives us unprecedented ability to control the brain. We can now answer fundamental questions of brain function, which have traditionally been beyond our reach, including the 'why' of sleep, one of the more enduring mysteries in the neurosciences."
slo1
Posts: 4,354
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9/22/2014 7:42:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/22/2014 7:28:20 AM, fazz wrote:
So how would treatment work. Is it like modifying a GMO tomato?

I don't have access to Nature Neuroscience to get the specifics. http://www.nature.com...

The article says they did use a virus that altered the gamma-aminobutyric acid nuron, which is a receptor. By altering the receptor they found a way to trigger just those receptors used for deep sleep and no other receptors in the brain.

I'm not intimately knowledgeable about all the modifications in tomato these days, but I imagine using virus and bacteria to insert the changes into the genome is the primary method.
fazz
Posts: 1,617
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9/22/2014 6:42:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/22/2014 7:04:06 AM, slo1 wrote:
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

How did you find this^ article? Do you just read a lot of science mags?
slo1
Posts: 4,354
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9/23/2014 8:16:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/22/2014 6:42:18 PM, fazz wrote:
At 9/22/2014 7:04:06 AM, slo1 wrote:
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

How did you find this^ article? Do you just read a lot of science mags?

Yes. If you notice a lot of my posts in science are from sciencedaily.com. They do a good job bringing the most relevant science news each day from all the journals.