Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Genetics of Afternoon Snoozes

How often someone takes a late-afternoon snooze could be partly genetic, a new study has found.

A Harvard Medical School-led team of researchers conducted a genome-wide association study of daytime napping using the UK Biobank and 23andMe datasets. The participants were asked if they never, sometimes, or often take naps during the day. As they report in Nature Communications, the researchers uncovered 61 loci linked to napping, including ones in regions tied to sleep disorders, arousal, and increased body-mass index. Some of these regions are already sleep disorder targets, they note.

The researchers add that clustering of these loci pointed to three scenarios that could underlie the need for a nap: a general requirement for more sleep, the result of poor or disrupted sleep, and, if combined with getting up early, a need to "catch up" on sleep.

"This tells us that daytime napping is biologically driven and not just an environmental or behavioral choice," co-first author Hassan Saeed Dashti from the Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Genomic Medicine says in a statement.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.