What are Zebra Fish Trying to Tell the Scientists?


Good news Dear Readers! Our hard working scientific researchers have done it again!

Well, well!  Thumbing through a copy  of Scientific American in an article entitled  Why Sleep is Good for You, it seems our industrious Scientist Community has been staying up late worrying about going to bed early.

In an unprecedented effort to dig up more work, Scientist’s have been studying the brain’s performance while sleeping and not sleeping by studying see-through fish.

Scientists Have Divided Themselves into Two Camps

The article goes on to say that the question of sleep has divided the Scientific Community into two camps:

  • Scientific researchers who think sleep is good for you
  • And scientific researchers who think sleep is even better for you than scientific researchers who think sleep is good for you.

Scientists Who Stare at Fish

According to the article, a “group” (probably less than 50 but more than 25) of scientific researchers have been staying up late staring at some zebra fish in the aquarium at the lab.

This is the kind of activity that just about any group can do without the need to pre-coordinate; thus making it quite popular among uncoordinated groups of scientific researchers.

An Uncoordinated Group of Scientific  Researchers

Let Sleeping Brains Lie

Basically, all the scientific researchers had to do was show up at the same time, pour themselves some coffee, and shuffle over to the fish tank to “look” at the fish.

In this case, they were shuffling over to “look” at zebra fish because “their larvae are transparent”, which allowed researchers to watch their tiny brains as they slept (the larvae, that is).

Putting the “zzzzzz” in Zebra Fish

For you see, it had been determined at an earlier date that zebra fish are less active at night than they are during the day which the scientific researchers ascertained could only mean one thing.  Zebra fish sleep at night.

After coming to this scientific conclusion, the scientific researchers could have simply gone right home and written about it in their Scientific Journals.

But the scientific researchers wanted to keep going because they just knew they were about to make a genuine Scientific Discovery — plus they could use the hours.

Talk About Dedicated!

So one camp of scientific researchers wrestled a zebra fish to the bottom of the tank while the other camp of scientific researchers held him down and dyed his neuron connections green and black. Ha!

They Could Be Dead, Sure, But Scientists Say They’re Sleeping

Well, wouldn’t you know, the scientific researchers soon found out that zebra fish’s synapse activity was lower during sleep. Who knew?

But how could the researchers tell that the zebra fish was, in fact, asleep?  Because first it started yawning, and then it closed its eyes for about eight hours give or take.

These eyes have been scientifically proven to be closed.

The upshot is that the hard work of the scientific researchers paid off when the results were published in the Journal, Neuron, which is a magazine about neurons that all the scientific researchers subscribe to, thus cementing their status as the very first Scientific Researchers to observe the effects of sleep/wake cycles on the synapses of a living vertebrate!

And if that little bit of scientific good news doesn’t put a spring in your step, nothing will.

Until next time. . . I love you

24 thoughts on “What are Zebra Fish Trying to Tell the Scientists?

    • Be sure to tell the scientific researchers if you plan to attend as I’m sure they have a number of experiments they are just dying to perform on the famous El Guapo braaaiinnneees.

  1. I think I would fall into the camp of scientific researchers (even though I’m not a researcher) who think sleep is even better for you than scientific researchers who think sleep is good for you. I may, in fact, start a new camp of non- scientific researchers who think sleep is a wonder drug! haha!
    Very funny!! Thank heaven for Zebra fish!

    • Haha! I concur wholeheartedly! Sleep is a wonder drug. Oh how I love it!! And I think God made see-through zebra fish just for the scientific researchers. That God, always thinks of everything! :D

  2. If only all scientific research could make me so sleepy. Who needs ambien when you can read about scientists doing important researchy things such as studying the effects of local amebas on…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Really! I think about a paragraph into the Journal, Neuron, and I’d be fast asleep! Which is why I wouldn’t make a very good scientific researcher and . . . .Jackie? Jackie Wake up! Jackie?

  3. I myself am a Marathon sleeper, needing close to 9 hours a night, even tho I am no spring chicken. However, tonight, I am writing this at 1 A.M. (having trouble falling asleep) on the East Coast when you are probably reading something interesting, like Scientific American. I like your style and humor!

  4. I feel scientifically inspired after reading your review of this project. Thank you.
    “it had been determined at an earlier date that zebra fish are less active at night than they are during the day”
    I wonder if the fish drink more at night than during the day. That’s what causes me to yawn and fall asleep anyway.

  5. I don’t mind staring at fish– but they have to be on a plate, preferably covered with a cream sauce. Also: they can’t be staring back. It’s unnerving. Looks like they’re channeling Al Gore… : P

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