The team in China and the US used advanced microscopy to witness new connections between brain cells – synapses – forming during sleep.
Their study, showed even intense training could not make up for lost sleep.
Experts said it was an elegant and significant study, which uncovered the mechanisms of memory.
It is well-known that sleep plays an important role in memory and learning. But what actually happens inside the brain has been a source of considerable debate.
They then looked inside the living brain with a microscope to see what happened when the animals were either sleeping or sleep deprived.
Their study showed that sleeping mice formed significantly more new connections between neurons – they were learning more.
During this stage, the brain was “replaying” the activity from earlier in the day.
Prof Wen-Biao Said: “Finding out sleep promotes new connections between neurons is new, nobody knew this before.
“We thought sleep helped, but it could have been other causes, and we show it really helps to make connections and that in sleep the brain is not quiet, it is replaying what happened during the day and it seems quite important for making the connections.”
A new reason for sleep was discovered last year when experiments showed the brain used sleep to wash away waste toxins built up during a hard day’s thinking.
However, there are concerns that people are not getting enough sleep.
Prof Russell Foster argued that society had become “supremely arrogant” in ignoring the importance of sleep, leading to “serious health problems”.
The reward for more sleep, Prof Foster argues, is we would all be “better human beings.”
The globe is facing a “tidal wave” of cancer, and restrictions on alcohol and sugar need to be considered, say World Health Organization.
It predicts the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035, but half could be prevented.
The WHO said there was now a “real need” to focus on cancer prevention by tackling smoking, obesity and drinking.
The World Cancer Research Fund said there was an “alarming” level of naivety about diet’s role in cancer.
Fourteen million people a year are diagnosed with cancer, but that is predicted to increase to 19 million by 2025, 22 million by 2030 and 24 million by 2035.
The developing world will bear the brunt of the extra cases
The director of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, “The global cancer burden is increasing and quite markedly, due predominately to the ageing of the populations and population growth.
These are major sources of preventable cancer included:
Obesity and inactivity
Radiation, both from the sun and medical scans
Air pollution and other environmental factors
Delayed parenthood, having fewer children and not breastfeeding
For most countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, cervical cancer dominates in large parts of Africa.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause. It is thought wider use of the HPV and other vaccines could prevent hundreds of thousands of cancers.
Prevention had a “crucial role in combating the tidal wave of cancer which we see coming across the world”.
In relation to alcohol, for example, we’re all aware of the acute effects, whether it’s car accidents or assaults, but there’s a burden of disease that’s not talked about because it’s simply not recognised, specifically involving cancer.
“The extent to which we modify the availability of alcohol, the labelling of alcohol, the promotion of alcohol and the price of alcohol – those things should be on the agenda.”
He said there was a similar argument to be had with sugar fuelling obesity, which in turn affected cancer risk.
Meanwhile, a survey of 2,046 people in the UK by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) suggested 49% do not know that diet increases the risk of developing cancer.
Amanda McLean, general manager for the WCRF, said: “It’s very alarming to see that such a large number of people don’t know that there’s a lot they can do to significantly reduce their risk of getting cancer.
About a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through being a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and being regularly physically active.
“These results show that many people still seem to mistakenly accept their chances of getting cancer as a throw of the dice, but by making lifestyle changes today, we can help prevent cancer tomorrow.”
It advises a diet packed with vegetables, fruit, and wholegrain; cutting down on alcohol and red meat; and junking processed meat completely.
“People can cut their risk of cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices, but it’s important to remember that the government and society are also responsible for creating an environment that supports healthy lifestyles.
“It’s clear that if we don’t act now to curb the number of people getting cancer, we will be at the heart of a global crisis in cancer care within the next two decades.”
Growing evidence shows that several genes which determine intelligence appear to be located on the X chromosome, the one men inherit from their mothers .Any mutation on the X chromosome has more effect on a man than a woman because a woman inherits X chromosomes from both her parents, which tends to dilute the gene’s impact.
But a man only has one X chromosome inherited from his mother, which is paired with the smaller Y chromosomes from his father.
Therefore, an intelligence-enhancing X gene has more of a chance of becoming the predominant gene, determining the man’s basic intelligence, looks and character.
It also works the other way; if the predominate gene is not as strong as it should be, the man is more likely to suffer mental retardation.
The study, said: “If the gene is the one that increases intelligence then its full effect will be seen in men, while in women the benefit is less pronounced. This explains why some men are extraordinarily intelligent.”
Study concludes that if a man wants smart sons his best bet is to marry a smart woman.
This Sounds Interesting I Guess… So Hustle up & Find Damn Brainy Brilliant Repo Lady, of course for you not for ME… Though that would be Nice. 😉
There just aren’t enough donated organs to fill the need. That’s why scientists have been dreaming of growing transplantable organs in labs. Scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine have made a step forward by creating a functional rat kidney. Continue reading →
The world has seen amazing technological feats in the last few years, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without some serious brainpower in the past. Through their vision hand hardship they have achieve the want we call Inventions(to create possibilities to understand nature at fullest). Have a Look at the outstanding faces of HISTORY. Continue reading →