Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Orexin A Sleep Surrogate

Orexin A, a naturally occurring brain hormone, has been successfully used to reverse the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys. Use of Orexin A allows these monkeys to endure all-nighters and then perform as well on cognitive tests as well-rested monkeys.

Researcher Jerome Siegel, professor of psychiatry at UCLA, remarked that Orexin A is "a totally new route for increasing arousal, and the new study shows it to be relatively benign... It reduces sleepiness without causing edginess."

In the DARPA-funded experiments, monkeys were deprived of sleep for 30 to 36 hours. The animals were then given either orexin A or a saline placebo before taking standard cognitive tests. The monkeys given orexin A scored about the same as alert monkeys, while the saline-control group was severely impaired.

The study was published in the December 26 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers found orexin A not only restored monkeys' cognitive abilities but made their brains look "awake" in PET scans.

Siegle discovered that the absence of Orexin A seems to cause narcolepsy; administration of Orexin A to narcoleptics will be one of the first tests to be performed on humans, when the research reaches human trial stage.

Siegel and other caution against using Orexin A as a long-term substitute for sleep. "We have these other precedents, and it's not clear that you can't use orexin A temporarily to reduce sleep," said Siegel. "On the other hand, you'd have to be a fool to advocate taking this and reducing sleep as much as possible."

I feel like I've read about this before. Orexin A sounds a lot like the sleep surrogate that Robert Heinlein wrote about in 1941.

Mary Sperling woke at her usual hour the next day. She got up quietly to keep from waking Lazarus, ducked into her 'fresher, showered and massaged, swallowed a grain of sleep surrogate to make up for the short night...
(Read more about Heinlein's sleep surrogate)

If you want to get a good night's sleep, and are looking for technological aid, you might want to try Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.

Via Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Replace Sleep.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/30/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Illustrating Classic Heinlein With AI
'Stasis, cold sleep, hibernation, hypothermia, reduced metabolism, call it what you will - the logistics-medicine research teams had found a way to stack people like cordwood and use them when needed.' - Robert Heinlein, 1956

Brainoware Reservoir Computation Of Biological Neural Networks
'Head cheese. Cultured brains on a slab.' - Peter Watts, 1999.

Forward CarePod The AI Doctor's Office
'It's an old model,' Rawlins said. 'I'm not sure what to do.'

Octopus Suckers Inspire Transdermal Patches
'...a capsule which he placed against his wrist.' - Philip K. Dick, 1960.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

NYC/Dublin Portal Fails To Meet 'Guardian Of Forever' Standards
I am the Guardian of Forever.

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'It's area, and its consequent light-gathering capacity, was many times greater than any rigid mirror...'

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion.

CyberCab - Tesla Renames The Robotaxi
'A cybercab dogged their heels...'

SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
'...a slender-legged tripod surmounted by a spherical body no larger than a football.'

Brin's 1990 Novel Earth Still Full Of Predictions
'... making the point that their likenesses, every move they made, were being transmitted.'

'Whisper Mode' ala Blue Thunder Researched At Bristol
'Forest Lawn.'

Gaia - Why Stop With Just The Earth?
'But the stars are only atoms in larger space, and in that larger space the star-atoms could combine to form living matter, thinking matter, couldn't they?'

Microsoft VASA-1 Creates Personal Video From A Photo
'...to build up a video picture would require, say, ten million decisions every second. Mike, you're so fast I can't even think about it. But you aren't that fast.'

Splendid View Of Eclipse From Orbit Visualized And Repurposed By Arthur C. Clarke
'The area affected was five hundred kilometres across, and perfectly circular.'

Bespoke Environment Music From AIs
'Call 'em Winter Mute," said the other, making it two words.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.