Brainless Jellyfish Shows Hints of Sleeping

The finding that primitive jellyfish sleep indicates that sleep is an ancient, evolutionarily conserved behavior. At first look, one will find that humans have slight similarity with Cassiopea which is a primitive jellyfish. Cassiopea is a jellyfish which is brainless, spineless and is found spending its entire life sitting on the ocean bed. It pulsates every few seconds.

Caltech scientists found that humans and jellyfish may seem to have different schedules but both of them have same starting and ending behavior of sleep. Thus, the discovery established that sleep is an ancient action which is hugely untouched by millennia of evolution. The research was conducted by a collaboration between three Caltech laboratories which is led by Paul Sternberg, Thomas Hunt Morgan, Professor of Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator; Viviana Gradinaru (BS '05), assistant professor of biology and biological engineering, Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, and Director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech; and Lea Goentoro, assistant professor of biology.

The research work got published online in the Current Biology of the September 21 issue.

By: Bhavna Sharma



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