Drosophilia Melanogaster

A conversation with Dragana Rogulja

Why do we sleep? The answer can seem obvious to everyone – because sleep helps us to rest, regenerate, preserve energy for the day ahead… However, the process that is so familiar to us remains among the most mysterious phenomena in biology – as a matter of fact, everything we just stated still remains at the level of the hypothesis.
So why is sleep necessary for life? Dragana Rogulja teaches neurobiology at Harvard Medical School Blavatnik Institute of Neurobiology, has dedicated her career to researching the molecular mechanisms that govern sleep. For this purpose, Dragana and a team of scientists from Harvard examined Drosophila Melanogaster, because sleep in the fruit fly is remarkably similar to mammalian sleep. Dragana revealed to us that flies, in the absence of sleep, behave similarly to humans – lack of sleep leads to numerous disorders and diseases, even death. Through a conversation with Dragana, we learned not only about similarities between flies and humans, but we also heard in more details about her long-term research, which for the first time offered to science something more than hypotheses when it comes to question of our need to sleep.
We encourage you to learn more about Dragana Rogulja’s research at the following links:
Rogulja Lab: http://roguljalab.hms.harvard.edu
Article: “Sleep Loss Can Cause Death through Accumulation of Reactive Oxygen Species in the Gut: https://www.dropbox.com/s/08f6yh5o9792kzf/Sleep%20ROS%20Gut%20Alex%20Yossi%20Keishi.pdf?dl=0