What Genes Tell Us About Sleep | Ying-Hui Fu | TEDxThacherSchool

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How do our genes influence our sleep patterns? How are digital devices changing sleep habits? Dr. Ying-Hui Fu discusses these questions and more in her talk at TEDxThacherSchool.

Dr. Fu has studied the genetics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases for many years and most recently, has focused her work on human sleep behavior. Despite the fact that sleep is an essential component of the human experience occupying about one third of our lives, little is known about what sleep is and how it’s regulated. It is clear that chronic disruption of sleep leads to increased risks of not only motor vehicle accidents, but also many diseases such as cancer, obesity and diabetes, autoimmune disorders, neurodegeneration, and psychiatric diseases. She and her collaborators reported the first genes and mutations that cause people to be extreme morning larks (lifelong tendency to go to sleep and to wake up very early). Her research team also reported the first families and gene/mutation causing people to be natural short sleepers, with a life-long requirement of only 4-6 hours of sleep per night to feel good and perform at a high level.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
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Academic

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