Yasutaka Niwa, Ph.D., M.D. | University of Tsukuba
Competition Sponsor: Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
Awardee Year: 2020
Despite the fact that sleep insufficiency is the cause of sleepiness and, eventually, various illnesses, no one knows what sleepiness is at the cellular and molecular level. If sleepiness in mice can be evaluated based on gene expressions and electrophysiological properties in specific cells, technological development for objectively measuring sleepiness in human will be possible.
If genes that make up sleepiness are identified, the sleep characteristics of each person can be examined in advance by genetic diagnosis as alcohol tolerance can be examined by ALDH2 genotype. Knowing one’s own sleep characteristics and keeping them in mind in our daily life, we will be able to prevent various illnesses and accidents caused by sleepiness. In the future society, I hope that sleepiness, which sometimes implies laziness, will be correctly recognized with scientific evidence. This research could help to realize such an environment that people do not have to work with sleepiness and that elderly people can live without concerns about sleep insufficiency.
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View this project poster, first displayed at the 2021 Global Innovator Summit.