Solving the Mystery of Sleep by “Lighting Up the Brain” presented at WCN 2021 by Neuroscientist Gero Miesenböck


LONDON, Oct. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Solving the mystery of sleep by studying brain mechanisms that regulate sleep and waking was research presented by Gero Miesenböck, Waynflete Professor of Physiology at the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behavior, Oxford, England at the virtual 25th Biennial World Congress of Neurology.

“Sleep is a universal behavior whose function and fundamental biology is largely unknown. As we advance toward solving the mystery of sleep, we will be able to treat and cure more diseases,” said Prof. Miesenböck.

Miesenböck is renowned for his research developing and using optogenetics, a technology that makes neurons responsive to light. Optogenetics has been instrumental in studies on sleep-inducing nerve cells in fruit flies that represent the output of a process called the sleep homeostat.

The sleep homeostat listens to the—still enigmatic—signals generated inside the brain or body that accumulate during waking, signalling the need to sleep. Miesenböck’s research hopes to improve knowledge about why sleep is an essential function by understanding these signals, how they are detected and how they induce sleep.

The electrical activity of the sleep-inducing nerve cells of fruit flies reflects the past 12 to 24 hours of their sleep history. The cells tend to be very electrically excitable when the flies need sleep and quiet when they are well rested. The switch that changes the activity of these neurons is oxidative stress, the accumulation of a particular class of short-lived, highly reactive molecules called oxygen-free radicals that are generated when an individual burns energy inefficiently. Studies in the early 80s showed that chronic sleep deprivation shortens lifespan, accelerates aging and leads to a host of degenerative diseases. Oxidative stress is thought to be one of the prime drivers of the aging process. In this way, sleep and aging may be connected through the mechanisms of energy metabolism—the process of generating energy by burning nutrients—and oxidative stress.

“If I had to summarize my presentation in a single catchphrase, I’d say that sleep is an antioxidant,” said Miesenböck. His research found that one particular ion channel in the sleep-inducing cells of fruit flies is crucial for turning sleep need into sleep. Determining how this mechanism works may lead to new therapies for sleep problems.

Sleep disturbances are one of the most common medical problems. It is thought that in Westernized societies, almost half the population has intermittent problems with sleep and 10 percent experience chronic sleep disruptions. Lack of sleep is also the most common cause of traffic accidents and is associated with insulin resistance, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases, mood disorders as well as a host of other diseases and conditions.

About the World Congress of Neurology

The World Federation of Neurology’s World Congress of Neurology brings together leading neuroscientists and public health experts to turn research into action and emphasize the importance of brain health across the globe. The 25th Biennial conference occurred virtually from October 3 to 7, 2021, and was organized in association with the Italian Society of Neurology (SIN).

About the World Federation of Neurology

The World Federation of Neurology represents 122 member neurological societies around the globe to foster quality neurology and brain health worldwide by promoting neurological education and training with an emphasis on under-resourced areas of the world. WFN supports the spread of research and clinical information in the pursuit of improvements in the field of neurology. With support from member organizations around the globe, WFN unites the world to allow patients greater access to brain health. For more information, please visit the WCN 2021 website at, find our live stream press conferences on Facebook at, on Twitter at or by searching using the tag #WCN2021.

For media interview requests: Michelle Damico, Ben Wagner via


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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal


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