Title

Identifying Novel Genes of Waking in Drosophila

Presenter Information

Candace Miller

Department

Biological Sciences

Major

Biological Sciences

Research Advisor

Thimgan, Matthew S.

Advisor's Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

Sleeping is a cyclic process regulated by our circadian rhythms and our sleep need, thus "clock" genes are a critical player in this process. One cause of the sleep disorder, insomnia, is attributed to heightened arousal of waking pathways, resulting in overactive waking instead of deficit in sleep. Genes involved in the waking process in humans can be studied in the model organism, Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies), which have similar mechanism for regulating sleep. To identify novel genes involved in sleep regulation and waking pathways, we have mutagenized the genome of Drosophila with a chemical mutagen, Ethylmethane Sultanate (EMS). These mutants are then screened for differences in their ability to respond to arousing stimuli, such as light and food. These experiments identified mutants with deficits in waking in response to stimuli and will give insight to why people have trouble initiating, maintaining, or have an insufficient duration of sleep.

Biography

Candace is a sophomore biological sciences student at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She has participated in undergraduate research for one year under Dr. Thimgan. After graduation she plans on attending medical school to pursue a career as a Reproductive Endocrinologist.

Research Category

Sciences

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

03 Apr 2013, 9:00 am - 11:45 am

Comments

Joint project with Anna Luce

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Apr 3rd, 9:00 AM Apr 3rd, 11:45 AM

Identifying Novel Genes of Waking in Drosophila

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Sleeping is a cyclic process regulated by our circadian rhythms and our sleep need, thus "clock" genes are a critical player in this process. One cause of the sleep disorder, insomnia, is attributed to heightened arousal of waking pathways, resulting in overactive waking instead of deficit in sleep. Genes involved in the waking process in humans can be studied in the model organism, Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies), which have similar mechanism for regulating sleep. To identify novel genes involved in sleep regulation and waking pathways, we have mutagenized the genome of Drosophila with a chemical mutagen, Ethylmethane Sultanate (EMS). These mutants are then screened for differences in their ability to respond to arousing stimuli, such as light and food. These experiments identified mutants with deficits in waking in response to stimuli and will give insight to why people have trouble initiating, maintaining, or have an insufficient duration of sleep.