Can't sleep? Fruit flies and energy drinks offer new clues

Like humans, fruit flies are active during the day, sleep at night and have similar sleep characteristics. A study has discovered a new gene and uncovered a mechanism that modulates sleep by controlling the movement of taurine – a common ingredient found in many energy drinks – into neuron cells of the fly brain. Taurine also is abundant in the human brain and is consistently elevated in blood and urine of sleep-deprived people.