Sleep No More
Sleeping, why we do it, how much we need, and how to get by without it have boggled the minds of some of the world’s greatest scientists. Recently, American geneticists have discovered one potential key to unraveling the mysteries of sleep, uncovering a fruit fly gene mutation that allows some of this species to get by only a third less sleep than their unmutated brethren. This pattern was found to be linked to an interference in the cellular potassium channels, a system vital for the maintenance of membrane potential and hence the ability for cells to do work, and as a corollary, flies with this mutation exhibited much shorter lifespans. Personally, I am encouraged that one day my army of shark-men may be able to rampage across the countryside on as little as three hours of sleep a night, leaving an extra four to six hours for gobbling and pillaging!