Sun, Aug 20, 2017 | updated 09:26 PM IST

New 'sleep switch' find paves way for better insomnia cure

Updated: Aug 11, 2017 01:48 IST      
New 'sleep switch' find paves way for better insomnia cure

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 11 (ANI): A team of researchers has discovered a switch outside the brain that can help insomniacs get their ZZZs back.

The University of California, Los Angeles scientists reported the first evidence that a gene outside the brain controls the ability to rebound from sleep deprivation - a surprising discovery that could eventually lead to greatly improved treatments for insomnia and other sleep disorders that do not involve getting a drug into the brain.

The scientists report that increasing the level of Bmal1, a critical master gene that regulates sleep patterns, in skeletal muscle makes mice resistant to sleep deprivation.

"When we first saw the importance of the muscle, we were surprised," said senior author Ketema Paul. "At first we didn't believe it, so we repeated the experiment several times. We finally realized this is not a mistake; this is real."

The research is the first evidence that a biological clock in the muscle can communicate with the brain, and is potentially good news for people who lose sleep because of factors including a crying newborn or a job that does not allow for normal sleep cycles, such as active military service.

Turning Bmal1 off throughout the brain and body in mice, using a molecular genetic technique, impaired their ability to rebound from sleep deprivation, the researchers reported.

Restoring the gene in the skeletal muscle enabled the mice to rebound from the sleep deficit, while restoring the gene in the brain, surprisingly, did not. Increasing the level of this gene in skeletal muscle also made mice less sleepy after longer periods of sleep deprivation. The researchers increased the level by genetically inserting extra copies of the gene into the genome of the mice.

The researchers, who worked for more than three years on this series of studies, did not see any negative consequences of increasing Bmal1 in the muscle.

Bmal1 is a master gene that turns other genes on and off, he said. Perhaps in the future, Paul said, scientists will produce a pill that increases the level of Bmal1 in the muscle, or even better, increases the level of the specific gene that is communicating with the brain's master circadian clock. "We have a few candidates that we're studying," Paul said.

The study is published in the journal eLife. (ANI)

India beat Sri Lanka by nine wickets in first ODI

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 21:04 IST     

Dambulla [Sri Lanka], August 20 (ANI): The Indian Cricket Team achieved yet another comprehensive victory over Sri Lanka in the opening ODI of the five-match series at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium here on Sunday.

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Drone scare at Delhi airport: Flight operations resume

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 20:49 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 20 (ANI): The flight operations at the Delhi airport, which were earlier halted after a pilot reported about spotting a drone above the runway, have now been resumed.

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Man arrested for possessing drugs worth Rs. 7,000

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 20:30 IST     

Goa [India], August 20 (ANI): The Calangute Police on Sunday arrested a man possessing drugs worth Rs. 7,000.

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Drone spotted at Delhi airport, flight operations halted

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 20:18 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 20 (ANI): The flight operations at the Delhi airport have been temporarily halted after a pilot reported about spotting a drone at the runway.

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 20 (ANI): The Indian Football team have now broken all records having won eight games on the trot since the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Playoff Round 1 match against Laos on June 2, 2016.

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Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], August 20 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday highlighted the significance of the National Investigative Agency (NIA) towards national security, and proposed the idea of holding high-level meetings between the agency and state agencies once in every six months to win over terrorism.

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Ludhiana Police bust ATM robbers' gang

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 19:42 IST     

Ludhiana (Punjab) [India], August 20 (ANI): The Ludhiana Police on Sunday with the help of the Special Task Force (STF), Punjab arrested a five-member ATM robbers' gang and recovered 641 ATM cards of 18 nationalised and private banks from them.

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Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], August 20 (ANI): Allahabad's Saumya Dubey, Class 10 student, on Sunday took charge as the Station House Officer (SHO) for a day, after winning an essay competition on 'A society without police'.

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Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India], August 20 (ANI): Joint Commissioner of Police B.V. Ramana Kumar on Sunday felicitated constable Srinivasulu for saving a woman attempting suicide in Andhra Pradesh's Vijayawada.

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Delhi man stabbed to death over alleged verbal dispute

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 19:26 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 20 (ANI): A man was stabbed to death over a verbal dispute with a group of men on Saturday in Delhi.

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Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) [India], August 20 (ANI): Five days into the protests against the block grant system in Odisha, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan urged the state government to listen to what the agitating teachers have to say and arrive at a proper solution for the betterment of the education sector in the state.

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West Bengal [India], August 20 (ANI): The All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), on Sunday dubbed the Utkal train derailment tragedy as 'an unfortunate incident' and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to resign from their respective posts.

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New Delhi [India], August 20 (ANI): In a move to bring home-buyers and banks in the real estate sector at par, the ASSOCHAM urged the government, National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India to chalk out a separate carve-out for those stuck in the incomplete construction and introduce a presidential ordinance to eradicate legal hurdles immediately, if any.

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RJP-Nepal to participate in local polls

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 18:40 IST     

Dhanusa [Nepal], August 20 (ANI): Nepal's agitating party Rastriya Janata Party- Nepal (RJP-N), which has been demanding a constitutional amendment for long, will participate in the third round of local-level elections.

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Patna (Bihar) [India], August 20 (ANI): Responding to the allegations made by Deputy Bihar Chief Minister Sushil Modi, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav launched a valiant attack on him and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and said that, in the aftermath of the latter snapping all ties with the 'mahagathbandhan' parties, 'Nitish ka dhokha' was trending in the state.

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Dhaka [Bangladesh], August 20 (ANI): Left-handed batsman Mominul Haque has been included in the Bangladesh squad for the first Test against Australia beginning in Dhaka on August 27 in place of Mosaddek Hossain, who is suffering from an eye infection.

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Indian spinners restrict Lanka to 216 in Dambulla ODI

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 18:15 IST     

Dambulla [Sri Lanka], August 20 (ANI): India bundled out Sri Lanka for mere 216 runs in the opening ODI of the five-match series at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium here on Sunday.

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Patna (Bihar) [India], August 20 (ANI): Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi on Sunday lashed out at Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family over his silence on being involved in multiple land scams and possession of crores worth of property and black money.

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Darjeeling (West Bengal) [India] August 20 (ANI): A case was filed on Sunday against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung and four others for their alleged involvement in grenade attack which killed a civic volunteer on Friday night.

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New Delhi [India] August 20 (ANI): Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Tathagata Satpathy has criticised the Centre for attempting to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states and questioned if it was to be considered 'an attack' on other languages.

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