Scientists discover how a common mutation leads to ‘night owl’ sleep disorder

People with delayed sleep phase disorder are unable to fall asleep until late at night (often after 2 a.m.) and have difficulty getting up in the morning. In 2017, scientists discovered a surprisingly common mutation that causes this sleep disorder by altering a key component of the biological clock that maintains the body’s daily rhythms. Now, a new study reveals the molecular mechanisms involved and point the way toward potential treatments. Source

Hydrogen sulfide helps maintain your drive to breathe

Researchers have found that the production of hydrogen sulfide gas is necessary to breathe normally. Inhibition of hydrogen sulfide production in rats prevented brain neurons that control breathing from functioning normally. These findings have identified new mediators of breathing that can now be explored in the context of human health and disease. Source

Lab-grown mini-lungs mimic the real thing — right down to coronavirus infection

Researchers have developed a lab-grown living lung model that mimics the tiny air sacs of the lungs where coronavirus infection and serious lung damage take place. This advance has enabled virologists to watch the battle between the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and lung cells at the finest molecular scale. In experiments so far, the mini lungs respond just like the real thing. Source

‘Mini-lungs’ reveal early stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection

‘Mini-lungs’ grown from tissue donated to Cambridge hospitals has provided a team of scientists from South Korea and the UK with important insights into how COVID-19 damages the lungs. Source

Cognitive behavioral therapy reduces insomnia symptoms among young drinkers

More than half of young adults at risk for alcohol-related harm report symptoms of insomnia. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the first-line treatments for insomnia, but it’s never been tested on young adults who are actively drinking. Researchers evaluated CBT’s effect on young adult binge drinkers with insomnia to determine if this treatment can improve their sleep and potentially affect alcohol use outcomes. Source

The ‘goldilocks day’: The perfect day for kids’ bone health

Not too little, not too much – Goldilocks’ ‘just right’ approach can now assess children’s daily activities as new research confirms the best make up of a child’s day to maximize bone health and function in children. Source

Ultrasound technique offers more precise, quantified assessments of lung health

Researchers have developed a technique that uses ultrasound to provide non-invasive assessments of pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary edema. The technique has been shown to both quantify lung scarring and detect lung fluid in rats. A study on pulmonary edema in humans is under way. Source

Therapy plus medication better than medication alone in bipolar disorder

A review of 39 randomized clinical trials has found that combining the use medication with psychoeducational therapy is more effective at preventing a recurrence of illness in people with bipolar disorder than medication alone. Source

Stopping lethal lung damage from the flu with a natural human protein

The raging lung inflammation that can contribute to death from the flu can be stopped in its tracks by a drug derived from a naturally occurring human protein, a new animal study suggests. Source

Cortex-wide variation of neuronal cellular energy levels depending on the sleep-wake states

The brain is assumed to exert homeostatic functions to always keep the cellular energy status constant, this has not been proven. Researchers discovered that cortical neuronal intracellular concentrations of ATP, the major cellular energy metabolite, greatly decreased during REM sleep, despite a simultaneous increase in cerebral hemodynamics for energy supply, compared with waking in mice. These indicate that cerebral energy metabolism may not always meet neuronal energy demands. Source