Sleep is crucial for our survival, and many diseases are linked to long-term poor sleep quality. Before we can use sleep to enhance our health and performance and alleviate diseases associated with poor sleep, a greater understanding of sleep regulation is necessary. Researchers had identified a while ago a mutation in the β 1-adrenergic receptor gene (ADRB1) in humans who require fewer hours of sleep than most. In vitro, this mutation leads to decreased protein stability and dampened signaling in response to agonist treatment. In vivo, the mice carrying the same mutation demonstrated short sleep behavior. The scientists found that this receptor is highly expressed in the dorsal pons and that these ADRB1 + neurons are active during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and wakefulness. Activating these neurons can lead to wakefulness, and the activity of these neurons is affected by the mutation. These results highlight the important role of β 1-adrenergic receptors in sleep/wake regulation.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.ucsf.edu

Farmers have always done their best to maximize yield, whether that be cramming another row of corn onto a field or breeding beefier cattle, but pig farmers in China are really taking things to a new level. As Bloomberg reports, some pig farmers in the country have bred their animals into an almost unrecognizable state, and boy are they big.

 

On a farm owned by a man named Pang Cong, one particularly supersized pig weighs in at over 1,100 pounds, making it bigger than a polar bear. Pork prices are currently high in many parts of China due to an illness that rapidly swept through farms and claimed the lives of countless animals. Now, the farms with healthy pigs are doing their best to meet the demand, and are getting top dollar for their animals as a bonus.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: bgr.com