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- Dubai 04:50 06:04 12:14 15:39 18:19 19:33
A team of researchers at the University of Washington in the United States are studying the effect of star-shaped cells, which control a number of vital functions in the body, on sleep and wakefulness.
According to the study, published in the scientific journal Journal of Neuroscience, the research team found that activating these cells in the frontal lobe of the brain led to mice staying awake indefinitely without showing any signs of sleepiness.
"This research is part of an ongoing investigation into the brain cells and circuits that make us feel sleepy," said Marcus Frank, one of the study's participants.
In statements to the website "Medical Express" specializing in medical research, Frank added that the research team used a combination of genetic and chemical techniques to control the mechanism of activating star-shaped cells in the frontal lobe of the brain in a group of mice.
He explained: "We used genetic engineering and chemistry techniques to create a molecular sensor inside the brain, which was then stimulated by a certain drug to activate the star-shaped cells." He added that the research also included measuring brain activity and body movements to clarify if the mice were awake or asleep.
The researchers observed that activating star-shaped cells in the brain led to mice staying awake for hours without showing any signs of sleepiness or fatigue.
"This experiment shows that the feeling of sleepiness requires a series of interactions between a number of sub-cells within the brain," Frank said.
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