Solving Sleep's Mysteries

Volume 30 Issue 3 | March 2016

Featured Articles

image: Go To Bed!

Go To Bed!

By | March 1, 2016

The immediate consequences of losing out on sleep may be harbingers of long-term repercussions.

image: Sleep’s Kernel

Sleep’s Kernel

By and | March 1, 2016

Surprisingly small sections of brain, and even neuronal and glial networks in a dish, display many electrical indicators of sleep.

image: Who Sleeps?

Who Sleeps?

By and | March 1, 2016

Once believed to be unique to birds and mammals, sleep is found across the metazoan kingdom. Some animals, it seems, can’t live without it, though no one knows exactly why.




Meet some of the people featured in the March 2016 issue of The Scientist.


Things That Go Bump

Scientists still don’t know why animals sleep or how to define the ubiquitous behavior.

Speaking of Science

Speaking of Science

March 2016's selection of notable quotes


Learning with the Lights Out

Researchers are uncovering the link between sleep and learning and how it changes throughout our lives.

Perchance to Dream

Mapping the dreaming brain through neuroimaging and studies of brain damage

Slumber Numbers

Ideas abound for why some animal species sleep so much more than others, but definitive data are elusive.

Sleeping for Two

Poor slumber during pregnancy may have consequences beyond gestation.

Thought Experiment

What Lies Sleeping

Why can science still not define this most basic biological process?

Critic at Large

Getting Animal Research Right

Regulatory and compliance expectations for animal-based research are demanding, while public and political scrutiny of animal research is rising.

Modus Operandi

While You Were Sleeping

Assessing body position in addition to activity may improve monitoring of sleep-wake periods.

The Basics

The A B Zzzzs

An overview of the human sleep cycle

The Literature

Sleep Circuit

A web of cell types in one of the brain’s chief wake centers keeps animals up—but also puts them to sleep.

Sugar Time

Metabolic activity, not light, drives the circadian clock in cyanobacteria.

Out in the Cold

Serotonin’s long-debated role in sleep promotion is temperature-dependent.


In Dogged Pursuit of Sleep

Unearthing the root causes of narcolepsy keeps Emmanuel Mignot tackling one of sleep science’s toughest questions.

Scientist to Watch

Christina Schmidt: Chronobiology Crusader

Research Fellow, Cyclotron Research Center, University of Liège. Age: 35

Lab Tools

Spoiler Alert

How to store microbiome samples without losing or altering diversity

Dial It Up, Dial It Down

Newer CRISPR tools for manipulating transcription will help unlock noncoding RNA’s many roles.

Bio Business

Desperately Seeking Shut-Eye

New insomnia drugs are coming on the market, but drug-free therapy remains the most durable treatment.

Reading Frames

In Your Dreams

Understanding the sleeping brain may be the key to unlocking the secrets of the human mind.

Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews

Herding Hemingway's Cats, Hair: A Human History, Restless Creatures, and The Mind Club


Cave Dwellers, 1938

Renowned sleep researcher Nathaniel Kleitman and a colleague spent a month underground to test the body’s natural rhythms.

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