When it comes to sleep, fruit flies are a lot like people. They sleep at night, caffeine keeps them awake, and they even get insomnia.
Those similarities, along with scientists' detailed knowledge of the genes and brain structure of Drosophila melanogaster, have made the fruit fly extremely valuable to sleep researchers.
"I believe that by studying the fly we can find factors that specifically regulate how we fall asleep, how we stay asleep, [and] how we wake up," says Dragana Rogulja, a neurobiologist at Harvard Medical School.
One goal of Rogulja's research is to make possible a new generation of sleeping pills that gently tweak the brain pathways associated with a specific type of insomnia. "Now it is more of a sledgehammer approach," she says.
Unfortunately, insomnia is now characterized as an unmet medical need. Many of the harms of medical management such as suicide ideation, addiction, and overdoses are trumped for the management of a potential cultural artifact of an aging population, escalating role of technology, less than optimal physicial activity, and many factors that may benefit from nonmedical strategies.
The discussion of numeracy in medicine provides context for much of the confusion at the point of care. A fire-hose of published clinical data does little to inform clinical decisions or highlight high-value vs. low-value care. Improving Numeracy in Medicine is a collection of important concepts and step-by-step guidance for comprehending scientific literature and practicing evidence-based medicine.
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