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Biotech Science

Drug Reverses Effects of Sleep Deprivation 610

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sign-me-up-for-that-study dept.
Ryan O'Rourke writes "According to a study led by Dr. Sam A. Deadwyler and published by the Public Library of Science Biology, a new drug called CX717 developed by Cortex Pharmaceuticals has been shown to reverse the biological and behavioral effects of sleep deprivation. Tests performed on monkeys that were subjected to 30-36 hours of sleep deprivation revealed an average test performance accuracy drop to 63 percent, but that performance was restored to 84 percent after administering CX717. During normal alert conditions, performance accuracy of the animals was improved from an average of 75 percent to 90 percent after an injection of CX717. It is also believed the drug may help prevent or restore memory loss in Alzheimer's patients."
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Drug Reverses Effects of Sleep Deprivation

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  • by lastchance_000 (847415) * on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:19PM (#13380303)
    The 167 hour work week!
    • by Cruciform (42896) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:36PM (#13380526) Homepage
      In other news:

      EA_spouse spontaneously combusts.
    • Re:Coming soon... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tumanov (265246) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:36PM (#13380530) Homepage
      I think we should all be focusing on being able to work better instead of being able to work longer. I've been doing a lot of introspective thinking about how much I work vs. how much actually gets done. And really its only the last 4 hours before a deadline that the work gets done - regardless of how many all-nighters were pulled.

      So while getting read of sleep deprivation effects might be nice, I really just need a drug that'll push me into the last-mile mindset and get me to actually do the amazing work that gets done under pressure. Caffeine and nicotine just don't cut it anymore.

      Heck, like one of the replies to your post mentions, the C in this drug could stand for cocaine and it'd probably have the same effect if it WAS just cocaine, except maybe with the downside of addiction.
      • Re:Coming soon... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by h4rm0ny (722443)

        Heck, like one of the replies to your post mentions, the C in this drug could stand for cocaine and it'd probably have the same effect if it WAS just cocaine, except maybe with the downside of addiction.

        Except that no-body holds the patent on cocaine so its illegal.

        But regarding addiction, at least you can make an argument with cocaine against using it. But this - I can see bosses coming along and expecting employees to just pop one of these in order to pull off a 48 hour overtime to meet a deadline.
        • by QMO (836285) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @01:53PM (#13381340) Homepage Journal
          "Except that no-body holds the patent on cocaine so its illegal."

          I can't believe that reasoning.

          First: Asprin and Alcohol aren't patented, and aren't illegal.

          Second: Lots of patented drugs are VERY illegal. (It takes a lot of money, time, red tape, and testing to get a new patented drug to the point where it is even legal to test on people.)

          But then you say:
          "We don't need a pill to help us work harder, we just need to adjust our expectations."

          Which I totally agree with.

          • Hi,

            The reasoning wasn't so much that something without a patent must be illegal, but that if it were patented and a big corp could make big bucks from it, then they would find a way of getting it legal. After all, Ritalin is chemically very little different to Speed and it has the same effect. But one is legal and the other is not? Your own hypothesis for that situation would be ? ;)

            Anyway, it was more of a sly-dig at the pharmaceuticals industry than a fully-researched argument. Still, I think I hav
        • Re:Coming soon... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @02:43PM (#13381797) Journal
          Except that no-body holds the patent on cocaine so its illegal.

          Nope. Cocaine is illegal because of racism. The fear was that "Negro Cocaine Fiends" have an insatiable need for white women. These "Cocainized Niggers" were ostensibly immune to gun fire. The terms in quotes are actual quotes from newspapers.
    • by Alex P Keaton in da (882660) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:43PM (#13380609) Homepage
      Women everywhere moan.... as their number two excuse, right after I have a headache, becomes scientifically irrelevant....
      I'm too tired honey....
    • by dsginter (104154) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:51PM (#13380708)
      Everyone, I did some digging and found that this "CX717" is simply this [216.52.186.124].
    • Yay! (Score:5, Funny)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @01:45PM (#13381252) Journal
      Orlando, FL - Gary Buzzeye has been taking CX717 for seven months now, and says he gets by on two hours of sleep a week.

      "It's absolutely fantastic." Buzzeye says as he scrapes away the skin around his eyes with a rusty nail-puller. "I've never felt better, and my productivity is way up." When asked if there were any side-effects, Buzzeye replied "None whatsoever. Since I killed my wife and sold my children to Satan, who happens to live two doors down, things have been great. Now if I could only get the snakes to stop eating my feet, I'd be one hundred percent. Oh, could you get the door, I think it's Napoleon. He's a real bitch, and he likes to steal my aluminum brainguard."

  • More links (Score:5, Informative)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:20PM (#13380308) Homepage
    NPR had a good piece on this study this morning.

    Here [npr.org]

  • by Poromenos1 (830658) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:20PM (#13380309) Homepage
    I don't like this. Sleep deprivation effects are there for a reason, to signal that you need to sleep. I can understand if people who can't sleep and need to be alert need to use this (e.g. soldiers in combat), but it's not going to be very good for the average person who needs to do some more work. People need to sleep for various reasons (rest, various chemicals get regenerated, etc). It's not a whim of nature.
    • by Chicane-UK (455253) * <chicane-uk@ntlwo[ ].com ['rld' in gap]> on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:26PM (#13380398) Homepage
      Exactly the same sort of post I was going to make.

      The body tell us its tired for a reason - it needs good healthy sleep, in order to keep you all in check. People who avoid sleep, people who keep themselves awake with drugs, people who burn the candle at both ends.. they are just setting themselves up for premature death. Just go to sleep!

      As Kramer once said in an episode of Seinfeld.. "Well.. I don't argue with the body Jerry. It's an argument you can't win!"

      Its a comment I whole heartedly agree with! :)
      • I'd prefer a premature (or even better, instant) death rather than keep working 80hr per week for the rest of my life.
      • by VoidWraith (797276) <void_wraith AT hotmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:38PM (#13380546)
        Of course, Kramer also does things like covering himself in butter, and falling asleep in a hot tub, and installing a garbage disposal in his shower so he can spend more time there, so I wouldn't take all of his advice. =P
      • by cecille (583022) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:46PM (#13380655)
        ha ha...no kidding...my last semester of school we had a huge project where we were working in a lab we could only use at night. Classes, of course, were still during the day, so sleep was something like 9:00-11:00 MWF and 10:30-1:30 TTH. Not a great schedule, but what can you do. Well, about 4 weeks into this (just before exams) I left the lab one morning feeling quite ill. Woke up 4 hours later on the floor of my bathroom. Don't even remember getting home, but from what my friends tell me I was talking about a chipmunk and kept swerving the car. From that point on we decided that it might be good to get a little sleep. Sure enough, 8 hours of solid sleep later I felt like a million. At that point, I think I would have taken something like this gladly, but really...if you're getting that broken, suppressing the symptoms CAN'T be a good idea.
        • by SatanicPuppy (611928) <Satanicpuppy@g m a i l .com> on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @01:23PM (#13381040) Journal
          During the period when I was abusing my body to the limit, I could go three or four days with about 8 hours of sleep. And then I'd crash and LOSE A DAY...i.e. pass out around 3pm on friday and wake up sunday morning at 4:00am. I remember falling asleep in my car, right in front of my apartment, because I was too tired to walk up the stairs.

          Passed out once, and my roomate had 5 guys over working on a CS project and it didn't wake me up until 10:30 at night. They'd been there since about 11:00 and I'd been there, asleep, since the night before. And when I say "roommate" I mean we shared a ROOM. I scared the hell out of him when I woke up because they'd thought the big bump in my bed was just a continuation of all the crap piled on top of it. I got up, ate dinner, went right back to sleep.

          I'm still paying for that crap, ten years later. It's totally not worth it.
      • by Mondoz (672060) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @01:11PM (#13380926)
        "The body tell us its tired for a reason - it needs good healthy sleep, in order to keep you all in check."

        I've often thought about why we still have certain primal signals.
        Pain from obvious sources, for instance.

        I skinned my knee. I know I skinned my knee. I can see it. I'm looking right at it. I just cleaned the darn thing. Yet it still smarts like hell.

        Why can't I turn off the darn pain receptors?
        Why, as a (okay, this next bit is questionable, but just go with it) intelligent being can't I just acknowledge those signals, and snooze them or something?
        I know. It hurts. Leave me alone until I get to the hospital.
        I know, I'm exhausted. Let me get to a bed without falling over.
        I know, I get the picture, send the right chemicals to the right places until I get the right treatment, but until then, just leave me alone!

        My knee tells me it hurts for a reason: it needs attention so it won't get infection.
        Broken bones hurt so they will get mended.
        Neither one know they've been fixed once they've been tended to, so they continue to complain.

        "The body tell us its tired for a reason - it needs good healthy sleep, in order to keep you all in check."

        If this drug can keep us from actually needing to sleep, then it's just like my knee. I don't really need to sleep, but nobody's actually informed my body yet.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @01:28PM (#13381094)
          The bone and the knee both want you to stop fucking moving so they can heal.
        • Why can't I turn off the darn pain receptors? Why, as a (okay, this next bit is questionable, but just go with it) intelligent being can't I just acknowledge those signals, and snooze them or something?
          I know. It hurts. Leave me alone until I get to the hospital.

          Because if you can consciously 'snooze' nerves, you will reinjure yourself by trying to do stuff you shouldn't. (My knee hurts, so I think I'll just shut that pain down... Oops, I guess it wasn't good to try to push the accelerator normally on my

    • I agree. There are more than enough drugs out there have detrimental effects. Now with this "wonder-drug" we get to skip nature's way of fixing itself. "Just take this other pill to aleviate _________________."

      Before long, perfectly healthy people will carry IV backpacks so they will have a constant stream of drugs "correcting" what the previous drug caused to enable us to live without sleep.

      One thing I've noticed with all the new drugs announced in the news is that they tie the drug to some ribbon

      • by JabberWokky (19442) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:47PM (#13380672) Homepage Journal
        (Disclaimer: Drugs are useful. My brother is in the hospital right now, and was likely going to die on Saturday, but is hopefully going to be moved out of the cardiac ICU soon. His life was saved by modern drugs.)

        My favorite oddball drugs that are heavily advertised are the "prevents that uncomfortable full feeling" and "cures fullness".

        We literally live in a time when being full is considered a major problem worthy of heavy advertising to a large chunk of the human population. Consider the fact that the majority of human history is full of people fighting not to starve to death... and now we're worried about being uncomfortably full.

        You can look at that with either bitter sarcasm or wonder at the accomplishments of humanity -- I rotate back and forth. But either way, it's durn funny.

        --
        Evan

    • People need to sleep for various reasons (rest, various chemicals get regenerated, etc). It's not a whim of nature.

      Nature can take a flying fuck, I'm going to get me a case of these and finish my degree in one year.

      I always knew sleep was a poor substitute for coffee, now it's a poor substitue for CX717.

    • I forget the name of it- But one of the "street drugs" (Maybe Ketamine?) that used to be used by bodybuilders supposidly (sp) allows you to feel rested fully with a few hours of sleep a night- I guess it puts you right into deep sleep and you stay there, rather than the usual sleep cycles we all have. This seems, if possible, more natural- forcing more recuprative sleep rather than creating alertness...
      • Shoot, regarding my above post- is it GHB? I need more sleep- my memory is shot....
        Anyhow- I would love to not have to sleep- as long as the workday was still 8 hours. Man, I could get a lot done...

      • I forget the name of it- But one of the "street drugs" (Maybe Ketamine?) that used to be used by bodybuilders supposidly (sp) allows you to feel rested fully with a few hours of sleep a night

        Do NOT take Ketamine as an aid to health! *LOL* .You're probably thinking of GHB. Take a little, you feel relaxed and good, take a bit more and you go Zzzz.

        GHB will send you to sleep when you ordinarily wouldn't and do so in a natural (loose definition of the word) way. And when it wears off, you'll be very fine
    • by aduzik (705453) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:42PM (#13380602) Homepage
      As someone who suffers from chronic insomnia -- and yeah, I've gone through all the medical nonsense for them to tell me there's nothing wrong with me physically or emotionally -- having a drug to counteract the effects of sleep deprivation sounds like a godsend. For me, all the sleep deprivation effects in the world can't help me fall asleep. For example, I finally fell asleep at about 5:30 this morning and had to get up about an hour and a half later for work.

      Some of us are jealous of the relative ease with which the rest of you fall asleep. (The absolute worst is sharing a hotel room after a long trip, where your traveling companion falls asleep right away, but you don't fall asleep for hours) I'd be happy to at least feel as awake as most people seem. The only time I feel that way is when I can sleep in on the weekends. It's mostly just depressing that I can't be that alert the rest of the week -- you know, when it matters most.

      • by Alex P Keaton in da (882660) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:50PM (#13380702) Homepage
        The thing about insomnia is, you are never really asleep, but you are never really awake.
        The second rule of fight clib, is don't talk about fight club...
        Anyhow, I always try and fall asleep first if there is a woman sleeping in my bed with me- If she falls asleep first, you are likely to hear a terrific fart (women don't fart less than us, they just hold them, while we are proud of them, and as such they are much stinkier and louder) and once you hear a woman fart, the magic is gone....
    • by Council (514577) <rmunroe@g m a i l . c om> on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @01:25PM (#13381065) Homepage
      People need to sleep for various reasons (rest, various chemicals get regenerated, etc).

      From what I understand, there's not a clear consensus on why we need sleep. I mean, it does a number of things, and we've figured many of them out, but as far as biology goes none of them seems to be a deal-breaker. I can easily imagine a large mammal that just walks around eating and doing stuff all day. Why is it that we spend a third of our lives in this comatose state?

      I mean, it's pretty much taken for granted, but when I stop to think about it, it seems pretty damn weird. Imagine an alien that shows up and we say "we need to go, gotta sleep" and they say "why?" and we say "uhhhh, to recharge." "I thought you ate food for energy." "yeah, it's for . . . maintanence?" "what kind?" "not sure. it's just this powerful compulsion." "what are the leading theories? you mean you aren't even sure why you do this every night?" "zzzzzzz."

      Just something interesting that I've given a lot of thought to, especially since I started working unpredicatble night shifts. I wonder if every major mammal needs sleep because we evolved with a light/dark cycle, or if it's just something that it's impossible to construct a complex brain without.
      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @02:08PM (#13381470)
        It may simply be essential for the body to rest, peridocly. When you sleep you don't move very much, of course, your heart rate, breating and such go way down. Your organs fall in to a low activity state, you use less energy, etc.

        Well it may be as simple as that if you go all the time, things start to wear out. There is some justification for this in injuries. If you keep working the thing that is injured, it won't heal, if however you allow it to rest, your body will fix itself. Well some things, like our heart, can't ever really rest as in do nothing, so perhaps sleep is the next best thing, a perodic low state where essential organs can rest.
  • by bigwavejas (678602) * on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:20PM (#13380312) Journal
    Sleep is critical for muscles/ organs to rebuild themselves. If I were Cortex I'd be a bit hesitant to release this drug to the public, without the strictest prescription. Lest they end up like Merck with Vioxx [fortune.com]

    • There have been studies that suggest sleep is simply a method for the brain to purge itself of "weak memories" (basically clean up the clutter) rather than rebuilding muscles/organs as you suggest. Has anybody else read these studies? I wish I had a link for the one I read. I'll look for it.
      • by WebCowboy (196209) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @02:51PM (#13381890)
        There have been studies that suggest sleep is simply a method for the brain to purge itself of "weak memories"

        If any medical person was to suggest that I would immediately dismiss him as a total quack. There is NO SUCH THING as an outside environmental influence that affects just one portion of the body. "Cleaning up the clutter" in your brain is only one effect of sleep. Your brain isn't a computer hard drive that needs defragging every night--it is much more complex than that and what affects the brain can affect any and all other parts of the body. There are autonomic responses that change when the brain is asleep vs. awake, changes to hormone levels, etc. that without doubt promote regeneration of the body. Sure, you can rest your skeletal muscles and let them rebuild without actually sleeping, but you cannot consciously control your heartbeat, muscles controlling your GI tract, the levels of hormones in your bloodstream and so on, so how can you expect to simulate the effects of sleep without actually sleeping?

        Beyond that, even if sleep was only about the brain, can you imagine the psychological effects of an accumulation of "weak memories" or excessively prolonged conscious brain activity? At best I think you'd end up being an ADD-like basket case. At worst you could go clinically insane.

        I think that should such a drug that counteracts the symptoms of sleep deprivation become widely available those who abuse it would reveal to us a whole host of side effects related to lack of sleep never before encountered. Apart from degrading mental health I think that people would physically age faster without sleep. Look at drug addicts today-sometimes they start out as "normal", smart, professional people that fro some reason get caught in an addiction. Early in the addiction they can function amazingly well with little or no sleep, but they slowly degrade as they fry their brains. While they are hooked these addicts age twice as fast as normal--even if they never end up on the street addicts in their 30s look like they are 50.

        This drug is like methadone--it is cocaine or speed without the highly addictive properties and some of the other adverse side effects. I believe that further, long-term/multi-year studies would reveal that the test animals might show good performance initially, but in a few years they'd look like junkies--even if they are still more mentally alert. I forsee similar results in humans--they might be very productive and alert compard to heroin addicts, but they'll look just as old and worn out.
  • by Entropy (6967) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:20PM (#13380317)
    wuld it lt me imporv my tiping and speeling after 60 ours playing mmporgs?
  • ...and now they want Slashdot junkies?

    Fitzghon
  • Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saskboy (600063) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:21PM (#13380325) Homepage Journal
    If I stopped reading slashdot until 12:00AM that would help with my sleep deprivation, without the use of drugs.

    I have a feeling most other computer users would find the same benefits from turning off their computers at 10:00PM.
    • You betcha. I keep in mind to not sit in front of my computer after 9 pm. Unfortunately I have taken to watching tv and watching adult swim till late night. Arghh....
    • Re:Slashdot (Score:3, Funny)

      by vertinox (846076)
      It doesn't matter what time you go to sleep. It is the time when you wake up that counts.

      You could go to sleep at 4am and still be refreshed the next morning... Err... Afternoon. Well.. As long as it's after 2pm and you have to get up to go to the bathroom and can't sleep anymore and since you're in the bathroom you might as well take a shower and maybe since you are already up you might as well check your email... Next thing you know it's 3am and you start to think that maybe you should stop playing WoW at
    • I have a feeling most other computer users would find the same benefits from turning off their computers at 10:00PM.

      Blasphemy! Everyone knows the really good shit doesn't start happending until 4 am or 3 hours before you have get to work.

    • Re:Slashdot (Score:4, Interesting)

      by JorDan Clock (664877) <jordanclock@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:49PM (#13380689)
      It worked for me.

      I went for a week where I didn't allow myself to stay on the computer later than 10:00PM because of a severely distorted sleeping schedule, and by the end of the week, I had my schedule back to a very sane 11PM-8AM (I'm a teenager, so that might even be a little on the light side compared to some others, haha.) and I felt considerably more alert, as well as just feeling more healthy.

      I doubt this drug will become a sleep replacement for the average man, but I can see it being used to help at critical times, such as having an emergency amount of it on-board a space shuttle in the event of a prolonged emergency where maximum alertness is necesary or similar scenarios.

      I wouldn't mind having a few doses of this, though, for LAN parties. While everyone else is struggling to drag their mouse across their mousepad, I'll still be zipping around, even long after the Bawls run out.
  • In the future... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lxs (131946) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:21PM (#13380332)
    ...we'll all be working 36 hour shifts.
  • by peragrin (659227) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:22PM (#13380352)
    but People do need REM sleep on a regular basis for our conscience to rest.

    Though I am sure there are many coders who would try it for a week to get that project done(aka MSFT forcing it on longhorn developers?)
    • but People do need REM sleep on a regular basis for our conscience to rest. Though I am sure there are many coders who would try it for a week to get that project done(aka MSFT forcing it on longhorn developers?)

      Which would explain the disappearance of Jiminy Cricket from the MS Labs.

      And I'm not sure what you've been up to if you've been taxing your conscience enough that it needs a rest...
  • by warmgun (669556) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:23PM (#13380362)
    Grad students, rejoice!
  • How are those figures supposed to support the term "reverse"? Would not "mitigate" be the better term, since the drug just improves test performance, slightly more so when tired?
  • by utexaspunk (527541) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:24PM (#13380376)
    ...so i can make more money. ...so i can buy more cx717 ...so i can work longer. ...so i can make more money ...so i can buy more cx717 ...so i can...
  • by joeflies (529536) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:25PM (#13380380)
    Methamphetamine?
  • Oh boy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bogie (31020) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:25PM (#13380381) Journal
    The military is going to love this.

    Expect Cortex's IP to be bought the us mil any second now.

    Of course the real fun will be when they discover that taking this for months and sleeping 1 hour a night, you go insane and think your a humming bee.
    • Re:Oh boy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MmmmAqua (613624) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @01:38PM (#13381188)
      I have never met anyone in the Army who had any trouble falling asleep any time, anywhere. My experience is limited to cavalry and infantry, though, so maybe that's just something about combat arms troops. Over the course of a year in Baghdad, I was able to fall asleep in some surprising situations.

      Of course, when going on extended missions, we also had the option of asking the platoon medics for stimulants. I don't remember what the name of the drug was, but one little white pill kept you up and alert for about two days. You did crash pretty hard after that. Anyway, while there may be some interest in the military for this drug, its use won't be anywhere near as prevalent as you seem to think. The Army likes its combat units to be operationally ready all the time, but also keeps mission durations and objectives as tight as possible to minimize battle fatigue and risk of combat losses. Sometimes you can't avoid a mission that lasts for a week, and in those (relatively rare - I only remember doing maybe a dozen of those two-day-plus missions over a year) situations, a drug to mitigate sleep-dep would be a godsend.
      • Re:Oh boy (Score:3, Interesting)

        by YrWrstNtmr (564987)
        I have never met anyone in the Army who had any trouble falling asleep any time, anywhere. My experience is limited to cavalry and infantry, though, so maybe that's just something about combat arms troops.

        Same in the air force. "15 mins until the next aircraft? OK...wake me when he taxis in."
        Snoozing while 120db fighter jets are rolling by 25 feet away is definately doable.

        • Re:Oh boy (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Tim C (15259)
          Snoozing while 120db fighter jets are rolling by 25 feet away is definately doable.

          Well, that beats me, but I did once fall asleep within a couple of metres of a sound system in a night club. That was after taking half a gram or so of speed, too - boy did I get ripped off...
  • by I_am_Rambi (536614) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:26PM (#13380401) Homepage
    Watch, coffee and pop will soon have versions of with this drug and without this drug. Soon the human race will become dependant on this just as we are on caffinee.
  • Interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ovit (246181) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ecorcid)> on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:27PM (#13380411) Homepage
    I read somewhere that a significant biologic reason for sleep was simply that animals who laid down in a dark place for half the time had an evolutionary advantage over thos who didn't (it's about 50% harder to be eaten by a predator if 50% of your time your asleep)...

    Rather than do the usual slashdot "Science is EViL" thing, why not really think about the potential here...

    Yes, they will probably discover that over use of this has some serious side effect, but all that means is that it shouldn't be over used... It does not mean that we all need to run an hide...

    For being a site full of geeks this place is remarkably anti science sometimes...
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Informative)

      by k_187 (61692)
      wait, so if you stand still half the time you're harder to catch? right...
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:45PM (#13380637) Homepage
      You read wrong. The problem is, there is a direct, linear correlation between body size and amount of time spent sleeping, that has nothing to do with whether one is predator or prey. For example, mice spend the vast majority of their time asleep, while cats spend a good 75% of their time asleep. When you get up to human sized creatures, you expect to see them spend about a third of their life asleep. Elephants sleep about four hours a night. What they do with all those long, dark hours is anybody's guess.

      The question of why we sleep is still a bit of a mystery to me, but if you're simply looking at it as "defense from predators", you're going to fundamentally misunderstand the phenomenon.
      • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Informative)

        by bigtangringo (800328) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @01:44PM (#13381247) Homepage
        Oh, you're also dead wrong about the size thing, from the same article I just posted:
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/artic les/whatissleep.shtml [bbc.co.uk]

        Species Average total sleep time per day
        Python 18 hrs
        Tiger 15.8 hrs
        Cat 12.1 hrs
        Chimpanzee 9.7 hrs
        Sheep 3.8 hrs
        African elephant 3.3 hrs
        Giraffe 1.9 hr
  • side-effects (Score:2, Insightful)

    by genckas (660936)
    Drugs like this end up messing up more than helping. A drug that can alter your normal biological functions (tiredness) and turn you more active cannot have good effects. You need sleep, simple as that. Maybe work should become more efficient instead of keeping people awake (or monkeys).
  • EA (Score:5, Funny)

    by wikkiewikkie (596205) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:29PM (#13380432) Homepage
    In related news, productivity at EA is up 44%.
  • and what are the side effects? Instant deaths?
  • by L. VeGas (580015) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:29PM (#13380442) Homepage Journal
    I had a Richie Rich comic book, and his dad took a drug EXACTLY LIKE THIS. And he became EVIL. No kidding.

    Richie Rich: harbinger of the future.
  • Because I'm guessing if it's cheap enough they'll start feeding it to Chinese factory workers so they can increase tat output by 100%.
  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:33PM (#13380489)
    I was just thinking this morning as I punched in the old door combination for the hundredth time that it would be nice if that memory vanished a bit more quickly.

    Your brain already does a pretty good job at figuring out what memories should be stored strongly and which ones should be left to fade away. It's almost certainly possible to override that mechanism, but you'll probably end up with incredibly vivid memories of things that aren't very relevant.

    Imagine if I popped these pills before studying for organic chemistry in college. Now I'd be having flashbacks of acid/base interactions and other useless trivia while I try to go about my daily job.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:33PM (#13380490) Journal
    Revision: "reverse [some of] the biological and behavioral effects of sleep deprivation"

    This drug also increased test performance in the control group. The increase in test performance was slightly more pronounced in the sleep-deprived group.

    Caffeine would likely show similar results, as would nasal decongestants and stimulant diet pills (both of which are amphetamines).

    Hell, for that matter, I bet crystal meth, in low doses, would produce the same effect.

    Meh, wake me up when the real fix for sleep deprivation is discovered... oh, wait...
  • I saw something a little similar to this a couple months ago I read an article talking about various drugs. It mentioned one that would allow you to go for long periods of time without sleep and feel fine (24 hours? 48 hours? i forget) Afterwards you'd just need 8 hours of sleep like normal and you'd be ready to do it again. I believe they said the military was investigating it for possible use.

    Unfortunatly i can't remember the name of the drug and i can't find the article again. Anyone have any idea as t

  • SIGN. ME. UP.

    Between a baby/toddler teething and my CIO position, sleep is something I hear about more than actually get.
  • Tests performed on monkeys that were subjected to 30-36 hours of sleep deprivation revealed an average test performance accuracy drop to 63 percent, but that performance was restored to 84 percent after administering CX717.

    I am reminded of the famous line from Chappelle:

    Cocaine is a helluva drug!

    Not trollin', just sayin'...
  • My Own Research (Score:3, Informative)

    by Paul Slocum (598127) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:50PM (#13380706) Homepage Journal
    has shown that crystal meth works just as good!
  • by Aqua OS X (458522) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @12:52PM (#13380726)
    I think they just invented meth.

  • by Evolt's RonL. (908084) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @01:00PM (#13380800)
    More efficient monkeys! I took the grandkids to the zoo recently and the dang monkeys were only operating at 68% effectiveness. Stupid zoo. A little money spent on ex717 and those monkeys could easily have been an extra 15-20% more effective! Hmmmm, I imagine they'll need a bigger dose for the hippo though.
  • by TheNarrator (200498) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @01:02PM (#13380820)
    ANYTHING that tastes good, makes us feel good, makes us stronger, gives us a better memory or helps us concentrate or otherwise gives us any kind of advantage over someone not ingesting said drug is dangerous and must have hidden side effects. Some nutjobs might argue that a drug that might improve our memories dramatically and thus advance the productivity and technology of our civilization would be beneficical. However, any drug that does this is bound to be toxic, addictive, and otherwise damaging and even if it kills 1 person out of a million. Even if that one person who dies took thirty times the recommended dosage we must ban it because the only acceptable use of ingestible non-food substances should be to cure disease.

    That being said, there is a horrible drug plaguing our streets known as 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine [wikipedia.org]. It is lethal in doses as small as 3.2 grams. It is consumed compulsivley by a growing number of American addicts. It can cause psychomoter agitation, rambling flow of though and speech, tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia. Large evil megacorps are trying to poison our childrens lives with them by getting them addicted to it early and it is even being distributed in schools by their dealers! Some people even say it helps them concentrate and lets them stay up longer but these benefits pale in comparison to the evils of this psychotropic drug. The Deaths [mit.edu] piling up because of this drug should lead us to ban it immediately! We should also ban a substance often taken in conjunction with this awful drug known as DHMO [dhmo.org].

  • Nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frangible (881728) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @01:20PM (#13381013)
    Amphetamines have been around for what, 100 years or so? Dextroamphetamine is the Air Force's "go pill" and is quite effective at keeping someone alert when they should be sleeping.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd= Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=1462046 8&query_hl=4 [nih.gov]

    While they argue that this drug is different because of possibly less abuse potential (yet have no data to back that assertation up with, such as self-reinforcing studies in animals), I think the real reason is because pharmaceutical patents only last 20 years. As far as abuse potential goes, addiction is usually characterized by increased dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens, of which amphetamine activates indirectly; I have seen no evidence as to whether or not CX717 will indirectly raise dopamine levels in that region of the brain as well.

    They may claim they're not stimulants, but the action is that of binding to receptors and releasing a neurotransmitter called glutamate. Is that really so different than stimulants binding to a receptor and releasing norepinephrine, another neurotransmitter?

    From the journal article, revealed increased activity in prefrontal cortex, dorsal striatum, and medial temporal lobe (including hippocampus) that was significantly enhanced over normal alert conditions following administration of CX717. You would see similar increases in brain activity following the administration of amphetamine as well.

    Furthermore, high levels of glutamate have neurotoxic properties: In excess, glutamate causes neuronal damage and eventual cell death, particularly when NMDA receptors are activated.

    Somehow though, I think the combination of a pharmaceutical company making $2.00 in profit per pill combined with possibly less of an abuse potential or political incorrectness of usage will make this drug preferred in spite of whatever risks it carries.

    Of course, maybe I'm just bitter and skeptical in my old age.

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @02:11PM (#13381489)
    Sexual energy is the base form of energy which we need to function properly and generally exist. It recharges during sleep, drawn from the universe and entering in through the sexual center just below the stomach. (Or so it is said in various ways by various sources.)

    In this society, we are powerfully encouraged to discharge that energy as quickly as possible through orgasm. According to some, sexual energy, once thus spent, is collected and consumed by etheric beings who exist in a higher level of reality and keep the human race like cattle for this purpose, (among others). True or not, you don't get to use your sexual energy once it's been given up through orgasm.

    On the other hand, sexual energy can also be saved up and used in other ways. People who have a lot of regular sex tend to be exhausted and dim behind the eyes because their primary source of 'income' energy is much reduced. One's level of awareness and the availability of energy are directly linked to one another.

    This is not to say that having orgasms is 'bad'. Physical sex is part of why we all came to this reality. It's fun, and it can be used to link in very powerful ways to other people, as well as link to otherwise difficult to access knowledge. But for the most part, people are instructed by the media to channel away their sexual energy immediately before it can be effectively used for anything else. In the morning, people often wake up in states of heightened arousal. This has nothing to do with holding back urination as conventional medicine tells us, (you don't get a woody any other time during the day when you need to 'go'. And it happens for women as well, who don't have the same plumbing) Sexual energy is there to be used as you wish.

    In any case, sleep is the way this energy finds its way into us from the Universal source. Drugs which prevent sleep are, I assume, accessing stored wells of energy, which cannot last forever. There is a reason why they say, "Speed Kills". --Of course, there are other ways in which to draw energy from the world around us other than sleep, including drawing energy from the earth through grounding meditations and exercises, (good!) Eating food and consuming life force, (standard), energetic vampirism through direct and indirect methods of torturing others, (nasty and ultimately self-destructive.). But above all of these, Sexual energy is potent and pure and freely available to anybody who can catch 40 winks.


    -FL

  • Unfortunate news. (Score:3, Informative)

    by 5n3ak3rp1mp (305814) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @03:35PM (#13382282) Homepage
    If you Google this [google.com], you can read all about Peter Tripp who never quite recovered completely from his sleep-deprivation publicity stunt. Ended up divorcing his wife, losing his job, etc. etc...

    Although sleep is still mostly a mystery, it is clear that it performs some sort of restorative effect. Does anyone know how this drug works and if it just blocks the symptoms of sleepiness?

    Get your 8 hours a night!
  • by Gldm (600518) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @03:55PM (#13382468)
    I'm having a hard time believing the following can be true:

    1. This doesn't get you high, even if taken at higher doses, like cough medicine.

    2. It does't get you high if you combine it with other legal or prescription substances.

    3. It's not addictive.

    One of the above is probably false. And that's bad. I give it two weeks before the first college kid goes on a 3 day binge the weekend before midterms, and pops 5x the reccomended dosage at 6am Monday morning, with a BAC still over the legal limit where it's been since Thursday.

    Granted these could be very useful and I would probably want to use them myself, but people are idiots, and this is going to harm or kill them, I guarantee it. I'm not anti-drug, I believe what you do with your own body is your own business and what I do with mine is mine (if only a single government on the planet agreed). But in the world we live in, this isn't going to fly. There'll be lawsuits all over the place.

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