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Science Explains Genetic Clues In Sleeping Habits by Studying College Students and Lab Worms [Video]

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The scientists who have always wanted to point out the relationship between too little sleep and a person's genes have finally found the answer. A study has just revealed that there are specific genes identified which show molecular alterations relative to short sleep duration.

A study conducted by researchers from Brown University has found the type of genes that cause the short sleep duration among young adults, and they have done this by doing experiments among college students and laboratory worms, Science Daily reported.

Anne Hart, a professor of neuroscience and co-corresponding author of the study online in the journal Sleep, said that before they conducted the study, the specific genes with the so-called epigenetic tags were not really that much associated with sleep. And according to the university's official website, this is the very first time for a group of researchers to have found genes important in sleep that might be tagged this way. They find it exciting to discover a new area in the field of sleep, as this will later on make it easier for everyone to understand how getting few hours of sleep can result in many health problems in people. It would also help determine better treatments for the people who are having difficulty sleeping.

As to why they conducted the study among college students and worms, that is because, worm and sleep are remarkably similar in the basic genetic and molecular biology mechanisms, which is why it was convenient to study worms as models for the basic biology of sleep.

In the study, the team has found that the duration of sleep is caused by amounts of methylation tags - DNA methylation is the specific epigenetic tag which can change behaviors like sleep. And because of the study, they have found a new way to learn more about regulating sleep and be able to get to the mechanisms of what is going on and what is important when it comes to human sleep.

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