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/sci/ - Science & Math


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>> No.10799644 [View]
File: 40 KB, 800x578, zebrafish.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

>One of the big, unsolved mysteries in science is exactly why humans and other animals sleep. There are plenty of hypotheses: it’s believed sleep is important in letting our organs repair themselves and is key in developing memories. But it’s unclear why that much-needed maintenance only happens after we fall into an unconscious state, making us vulnerable to predators. One way of solving the riddle of sleep is to investigate its origins, and a new study in the journal Nature involving zebrafish reveals that the pattern of sleep found in humans and many other animals evolved at least 450 million years ago.

>Researchers built a special fluorescent light-sheet microscope that could image the entire tiny fish down to single cells. They also genetically engineered fish so their muscles and neurons would light up in the presence of calcium, which is released when those cells are active. They then immobilized sleeping two-week-old zebrafish, which are transparent, in an agar solution. They were also able to capture the heart rate, eye movement, muscle tone and other data using a fluorescence-based sleep study apparatus they developed.


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