Those geniuses at DARPA, the Pentagon's research arm, are hard at work on a new nasal spray that could make sleep obsolete. It's called Orexin A, and just a couple snorts of it could allow you to be awake and alert for tens and tens of hours straight with no negative side effects.
Of course, there are sure to be some pretty serious consequences to your body if you go without sleep for a week at a time, no matter how awake your brain is. But for pilots going long distances and narcoleptics (who have a lack of Orexin A in their brains, hence the discovery of this drug), it could be quite useful. Not to mention truckers, college kids during finals week, club kids who don't want to take illegal uppers, and World of Warcraft addicts, all of whom would find Orexin A to be irresistible. Don't look for it on pharmacy shelves anytime soon, however. It's just gone through a successful test run on monkeys, but human tests have yet to be done, and once they do the drug still has the FDA gauntlet to be run through, so it's probably still a decade away.
But still! Replacing sleep with drugs! The unhealthy future is now! [Wired]