April 16, 2024

Ignoring the alarm clock is in your genes

Genetic test for sleep patterns
Another intriguing excursion into the genetic-explanation-for-everything: pillow hugging. With a swab from your cheek, scientists at the Swansea University can now determine whether difficulty in getting out of bed in the morning is a result of your genes or pure laziness. The test, soon to be commercialised, could potentially be used as a defence when employees are fired for sleeping in, at least according to the Daily Telegraph.

The test shows the activity of different genes which control our "natural" sleep patterns. One gene, known as Per2, is especially active at around 4am, and is associated with sleeping. Another, known as REV-ERB, seems to work in opposition to Per2, having its peak activity at around 4pm, and may be associated with wakefulness. By measuring the RNA produced by these genes, it is possible to identify whether a person is an early bird or a night owl. ~ Swansea University, June 6; Daily Telegraph, June 6