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(io9)   Why can't mammals live without sleep? When did our capacity for, and dependence upon, sleep evolve? Do invertebrates ever nod-off inadvertently? Does bacteria sleep in the same way that humans do? Here comes the CHRRRR-ZZZZZZZZ   (io9.com) divider line 14
    More: Interesting, invertebrates, mammals, bacteria, sleep evolve, Caenorhabditis elegans, animal behaviorist, biological clocks, circadian rhythms  
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5067 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Apr 2013 at 5:36 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-17 06:02:49 PM
3 votes:

Wolf892: Why did we evolve the need to eat meat when other mammals can become just as big and bigger and stronger than us with just a plant based diet?

images.nationalgeographic.com
2013-04-17 10:37:21 PM
2 votes:

Quantum Apostrophe: Sort of like you grasp the difference between the Earth's air, gravity, water, pressure, temperature and the deadly emptiness of space?


Funny thing, with my multicellular, eukaryotic brain and hands I can fashion a pressurized steel container to travel through that emptiness in all the comfort and safety of home. Alas, poor E. coli is stuck here on Earth, probably inside a cow intestine, and couldn't even grow eyes to see the stars because eyes are multicellular constructs. But it's immortal, so that makes it all better. Unless the cow craps it out and it dries out and its proteins denature and its cell membrane ruptures. Poor E. coli cell! All alone in the world. Not even fellow specialized organ cells to keep it company. Bye-bye, little prokaryote! We hardly knew ye!
2013-04-17 09:47:44 PM
2 votes:
Why do people always ask why we evolved something? That's not how it works. It evolved because it did - evolution doesn't have intent. The genes survived or they didn't. It's like asking why the planet sustains life... well, if things had happened differently, it wouldn't. It didn't do that on purpose somehow.
2013-04-17 06:29:06 PM
2 votes:
I suspect that sleep is more of a bug than a feature. In other words "sleep" was not evolutionarily selected for because there was some advantage to unconscious downtime in itself but instead in evolution's development of brains very advantageous structures were cobbled together but they had the bug that they needed periodic sleep episodes to keep them working. This would suggest that sleep evolved in animals that were inactive at night and it didn't matter if they were unconscious because they didn't have anything else to do at night.
2013-04-17 06:24:50 PM
2 votes:

Summoner101: Why did we evolve the ability to grow old and die?


We didn't.  Age is a symptom of DNA degradation   We didn't evolve age, we just didn't evolve a more resilient method of replicating our DNA.
2013-04-18 09:25:51 AM
1 votes:

HairBolus: That's a purty explanation full of trying to be incomprehensible big words.


I'll try to dumb it down for you. An organism only has so much energy available to it. Low-grade garbage collection takes processor cycles and energy. The central ganglion, i.e. brain, already has to deal with sensory inputs and other higher-level computation functions. Doing garbage collection at the same time would slow down its processing and possibly interrupt survival-related processes. So... instead of wasting time and energy doing defrags and indexing when it should be eating and mating, the organism stores everything in a temporary memory space until it can find a safe location to run those processes. At the same time, it can also do things that would take energy away from running and moving, like digestion.

Also, in a computer you're dealing with binary flip-flops made of magnetic bits and lots of silicon. Magnetic sectors don't have any refractory time between states, and silicon doesn't wear much during the process. Organic materials are different. Neurons have a charge-discharge-recharge cycle with their neurotransmitters, and carbon is softer than silicon. As much as you'd like to make organisms out of something with immediate refresh rates and durable construction, you really can't. Neurons get "tired", they can get damaged, they can wear out. They can be repaired, but that, once again, takes energy and processing cycles. Best to just wait for a lull to enter a diagnostic state and get it all done at once.

So, does that make more sense to you? Or should I use single-syllable words?
2013-04-18 04:16:49 AM
1 votes:

daveinsurgent: Why do people always ask why we evolved something? That's not how it works. It evolved because it did - evolution doesn't have intent. The genes survived or they didn't. It's like asking why the planet sustains life... well, if things had happened differently, it wouldn't. It didn't do that on purpose somehow.


Asking why something evolved doesn't imply intent, it is asking what net advantage it confers, and therefore why creatures that don't sleep are selected against.
2013-04-17 10:18:04 PM
1 votes:

Quantum Apostrophe: Because someone compared species. Try to keep up, tard.


The difference in life cycles between prokaryotes and even single-cell eukaryotes is so vast that even you could comprehend the difference. But I suppose you'd prefer immortality as an E. coli cell to your present existence.
2013-04-17 09:44:45 PM
1 votes:

Quantum Apostrophe: Count the number of bacteria. Count the number of humans.


You're comparing the lives of single-cell prokaryotes to multicellular eukaryotes for what reason, again?
2013-04-17 09:30:08 PM
1 votes:

Summoner101: Why did we evolve the ability to grow old and die?


I'll go with: Because reproduction is accomplished for the most part while young. What happens after that doesn't really matter much to the species, so why waste energy on longevity?
2013-04-17 07:56:14 PM
1 votes:
Sucks that we waste 1/3 of our lives doing nothing...

Well, except that for many people, like me, dreams suck less than the real world.
2013-04-17 06:36:42 PM
1 votes:
I for one would lose my mind if I couldn't turn it off now and then.
2013-04-17 05:59:05 PM
1 votes:

Summoner101: Why did we evolve the ability to grow old and die?


Decause a species that didn't die of old age would very quickly fill up its niche. Reproduction would slow drastically and its rate of evolutionary change would also therefore slow. The non-deathless would outpace and eat it.
2013-04-17 05:51:48 PM
1 votes:
Why did we evolve the ability to grow old and die?
 
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