Seeing good science highlighted on mainstream media is always good for us scientist as an outreach lesson. This one comes from Pr. Maiken Nedergaard, a well established researcher in the blood-brain barrier field (comparable to a big rock star in the scene, as Adrian use to give that analogy).
In this elegant story published in Science, the authors have shown that sleep are essential to purge the brain from waste. It has hypothesized that what enters through the blood-brain barrier has to leave through the cerebrospinal fluid and it has been longly hypothesized that the blood-cerebrospinal fluid-barrier was playing this role. It is also the most obscure barrier of the central nervous system. It is very interesting to see how important the system it is, but also showing how important sleep plays in that role. It is very interesting to understand if it is like a maintenance routine that the brain perform during its “idle” cycle and would be interesting to see how such system gets impaired in neurological diseases.
Also it is also a good reminder that good science can only be done if there resources available to do so. At this time of shutdown and debt ceiling, I would to salute again the remarkable work of the National Institute of Health and in particular the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS) for providing the support of good science, but also thanks the taxpayers that help us build our scientific knowledge.