Do Larvae Sleep? Bank on It!


Hard Working Scientists Have Done It Again!

Well, well!  Thumbing through a copy of the January issue of Scientific American in an article entitled:  Why Sleep is Good for You, it seems our industrious Scientist Community has been staying up late worrying about going to bed early.

In an unprecendented effort to dig up more work, Scientist’s have been studying the brain’s performance while sleeping and not sleeping by studying see-through fish.

Divided into Two Camps

The article goes on to say that the question of sleep has divided the Scientific Community into two camps:

Those who think sleep is good for you, and those who think sleep is even better for you than those who think sleep is good for you.

Scientists Who Stare at Fish

According to the article, a “group” (probably less than 50 but more than 25) of Researchers have been staying up late staring at some Zebrafish in the aquarium at the lab.  This is the kind of activity that just about any group can do without the need to pre-coordinate; thus making it quite popular among uncoordinated groups of Researchers.

Not as "co-ordinated" as one might imagine.

Let Sleeping Brains Lie

Basically all the researchers have to do is meet at the same time, pour themselves some coffee and shuffle over to the aquarium tank to “look” at the fish.  In this case they were looking at Zebrafish because “their larvae are transparent, which allowed researchers to watch their brains as they slept.”

Putting the “zzzzzz” in Zebrafish

For you see, it had been determined at an earlier date that Zebrafish are less active at night than they are during the day which could only mean one thing.  They SLEEP at night!
After coming to this scientific conclusion, the Researchers could have simply gone right home and written about it in their Scientific Journals. But the Researchers wanted to keep going because they just knew they were about to make a Scientific Discovery; plus they needed the hours.

Talk About Dedicated!

So one Camp of Researchers wrestled a Zebrafish to the bottom of the tank while the other Camp of Researchers held him down and dyed his neuron connections green and black.

They Could Be Dead, Sure, But Scientists Say They’re Sleeping

Well, wouldn’t you know, the Researchers soon found out that zebrafish’s synapse activity was lower during sleep.  But how could the Researchers tell that the Zebrafish was, in fact, asleep?  Because, first it started yawning and then it closed its eyes for about eight hours give or take.

These eyes have been scientifcally proven to be closed.

The upshot is that the hard work of the Reseachers paid off when the results were published in the Journal, Neuron, and the Researchers become the very first to show the effects of sleep/wake cycles and time of day on the synapses of a living vertebrate!

And if that little bit of scientific good news doesn’t put a spring in your step, nothing will.

Until next time. . . I love you

One thought on “Do Larvae Sleep? Bank on It!

  1. This post is making me laugh out loud mom! How stupid of a subject can you get?! Scientists have also discovered that eating food is better for your body than not eating food. But eating more food than your body needs is not as good as eating the right about. . Smarty pant’s!

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