Germany

Overslept Again? New Research Lets You Blame It On 'Good Sleeper' Genes

We already knew that stress, alcohol, coffee and mental disorders could affect the quality and duration of our sleep. Research now suggests that genes play a role as well. European scientists recently isolated a gene that may affect a person's ni

Sweet dreams, good excuse  (aramolara)
Sweet dreams, good excuse (aramolara)


*NEWSBITES

Britain's "Iron Lady," Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, needed just four hours of sleep per night, or so they say. Albert Einstein, on the other hand, enjoyed lengthy 11-hour snoozes before returning each morning to rewriting the laws of physics. Was Thatcher a masochist? Einstein just lazy?

Personal preference, it turns out, may not have had much to do with it? A European study published in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry has just shown that a particular form of a gene —called ABCC9 — increases the average length of an individual's nightly sleep by half an hour.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, questioned about 10,000 people from all around Europe on their sleeping habits. They were particularly curious to know how long people stay in bed on days when they don't have any pressing reason to wake up early.

By comparing the duration of sleep with the results of a genetic analysis from a blood sample, the scientists found out that sleepers carrying a particular form of the ABCC9 gene typically spent more than eight hours in bed. People without the gene averaged just 7.5 hours. The researchers hope their discovery will lead the way towards more physiologically adapted sleep aids.

This is not the first time scientists have linked specific genes to different sleeping patterns. Tests involving rats and mice, for example, have shown how gene makeup can determine whether the animal is a "morning" or "evening" creature.

Researchers have also linked sleeping patterns to certain health problems. People who sleep fewer than six hours per day are more likely to have diabetes, hypercholesterolemia or cardiovascular disorders.

Read the original article in French by Martine Perez

Photo – aramolara

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Society

Germany's Legendary Clubbing Culture Crashes Museum Space

The exhibition “Electro” in Düsseldorf is an unlikely tribute to a joyful and uninhibited club culture, with curators forced to contend with limits of a museum setting ... and another COVID lockdown.

A woman with a "Techno" tattoo in front of the famous Berghain

Boris Pofalla

DÜSSELDORF — The last party at the Berghain nightclub in Berlin lasted from Saturday evening until Monday morning. On the first weekend of December, some clubbers lined up for nine hours outside the former power plant – and still didn’t make it past the doormen. A friend said that dancing in the most famous techno club in the world on its last evening was like landing a spot in the last lifeboat to leave the sinking Titanic on 14 April 1912.

It is surely a coincidence that the first comprehensive exhibition charting the 100-year history of electronic music in Germany opened in the same week that nightclubs across the country were forced to close. It wasn’t planned that way, but it’s like opening an exhibition about the cultural history of alcohol the day after the introduction of prohibition.

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