Identification of Neuromedin U as a sleep regulator


The first large scale screening in zebrafish helped biologists at the California Institute of Technology to identify a gene Neuromedin U (Nmu) which leads to severe insomnia when overactivated.

bedtime-problems Source-

Sleep is one of the most important factors governing our life. David Prober, the assistant professor of biology at Caltech said, “Sleep is a mysterious process. We spend a third of our lives doing it, and every animal with a complex nervous system seems to do it, so it must be important. But we still don’t understand why we do it or how it’s regulated.”

In order to identify the genetic basis of such behaviors, a genetic screening is the best experimental technique used. It is the method of choice for simpler organisms like fruit flies and involves mutating the DNA of the model organism, raising them and then identifying any observable change in the behavior followed by determination of the…

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