Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Just Putting My Head Down For a Second…

Sleeping could help repair DNA damage that accumulates during the day in neurons, the Guardian reports.

Researchers from Bar-Ilan University took time-lapsed images of tagged chromosomes in zebrafish and, as they report in Nature Communications, Bar-Ilan's Lior Appelbaum and his colleagues found that when the zebrafish were awake, chromosomal repair processes were less active and DNA damage accumulated in neurons. But when the zebrafish were asleep, their chromosomal dynamics increased and DNA repair becomes more efficient.

"It's like potholes in the road," Appelbaum says in a statement. "Roads accumulate wear and tear, especially during daytime rush hours, and it is most convenient and efficient to fix them at night, when there is light traffic."

It also, he adds, suggests why organisms ranging from jellyfish and zebrafish to flies and humans need to sleep. According to the Guardian, Appelbaum and his colleagues plan to next study chromosomal dynamics and different sleep stages in mice.

The Scan

Foxtail Millet Pangenome, Graph-Based Reference Genome

Researchers in Nature Genetics described their generation of a foxtail millet pangenome, which they say can help in crop trait improvement.

Protein Length Distribution Consistent Across Species

An analysis in Genome Biology compares the lengths of proteins across more than 2,300 species, finding similar length distributions.

Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

A team reports in Nature Genetics that it used glucose challenge test data to home in on candidate genes involved in GLUT4 expression or trafficking.

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.