According to Pasadena Now, Caltech researchers discover that three chemicals work together to induce sleep in the roundworm C. elegans.

Elephants, cats, flies, and even worms sleep. It is a natural part of many animals’ lives. New research from Caltech takes a deeper look at sleep in the tiny roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, or C. elegans, finding three chemicals that collectively work together to induce sleep. The study also shows that these chemicals—small proteins called neuropeptides that regulate neural activity—each control a different sleep behavior, such as the suppression of feeding or movement.

The results, accepted for publication in the journal Current Biology, suggest that other organisms, perhaps even humans, might similarly regulate individual components of sleep.

Photo Credit:Sternberg Laboratory/Caltech

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