Web Exclusive: Study finds shift work, lack of sleep kills brain cells

Web Exclusive

(CNN) - New research shows lack of sleep due to shift work is causing irreversible brain damage.  Research published in the Journal of Neuroscience brings the concerning news for people who work outside of normal hours of work, like truck drivers or doctors on the graveyard shift.  

They found that long-term sleep deprivation by working these hours takes away power from the brain, even if you are able to catch up on sleep and it kills brain cells.  The researchers say to compare this to a lasting brain injury. They put lab mice through a sleep schedule that mirrors shift workers.  

They found that the bundle of nerves in the brain, which is associated with alertness and cognitive function, had lots of damage.  The mice lost 25-percent of these neurons. And they found the brains didn't protect themselves naturally like they should if losing sleep became a habit.  Even just after a few days, the cells started dying off at what they say is an accelerated pace.

Twitter is starting to look a lot more like Facebook.  The social network has added a new feature that lets users tag up to ten friends in a photo.  It will also let iPhone users upload up to four pictures in one tweet.  The new features will be available on android and the web soon.

A Denver company is offering businesses a different kind of security.  It is a robot security guard.  It's called the Vigilant Mobile Camera Platform or Vigilant MCP.  The robot can operate in all kinds of buildings without supervision and it does not need a remote control.  The creator, Gamma 2 Robotics, says it also works with existing systems, including smoke detectors and verbal sensors.  The company is marketing the robot for security at data centers, warehouses and other facilities that require routine security patrol.

 


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