News

Say goodbye to jet lag

Say goodbye to jet lag

Photo: clipart.com

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have found a genetic mechanism in mice that hampers their body clock’s ability to adjust to changes in patterns of light and dark, and say their results could someday lead to the development of drugs to combat jet lag.

Researchers from Britain’s Oxford University and from the Swiss drug firm Roche used mice to analyze patterns of genes in an area of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) – which in mammals pulls every cell in the body into the same biological rhythm.

They found that one molecule, called SIK1, is key to how the mice responded to changes in light cycles.

When the scientists blocked the activity of SIK1, the mice recovered faster from disturbances in their daily light and dark cycle that had been designed to induce a form of mouse jet lag.

If the corresponding mechanism can be found and similarly blocked in humans, jet lag may become a thing of the past, the researchers said in their study, published online in the journal Cell on Thursday.

“We’re still several years away from a cure for jet lag, but understanding the mechanisms that generate and regulate our circadian clock gives us targets to develop drugs to help bring our bodies in tune with the solar cycle,” said Russell Foster, director of Oxford’s sleep and circadian neuroscience institute.

He said such drugs could also have broader potential value, including for people with mental illnesses where sleep disturbances are common.

Recent Headlines

5 hours ago in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: May 2

Los Angeles premiere of 'San Andreas' held at TCL Chinese Theatre - Arrivals

A look back at some of the Hollywood headlines from years past.

7 hours ago in Sports

NHL Playoffs: Sharks and Blues win on Sunday

st louis blues from stanley cup playoffs via twitter

Pavelski's late goal gives Sharks win over Predators and Blues even series on Backes' OT game-winner.

7 hours ago in Sports

DeRozan has 30 points, Raptors beat Pacers in Game 7

derozan and rapters from nba doto dom via twitter

The Toronto Raptors beat the Indiana Pacers 89-84 on Sunday night in Game 7 of the first-round playoff series to advance to face Miami

14 hours ago in Sports

Brad Keselowski wins crazy crash-fest at Talladega

Brad Keselowski Twitter

Only 21 of the 40 cars finished on the lead lap, and 12 cars were ruled out of the race.

15 hours ago in Sports

NBA playoffs: Heat roll past Hornets in game 7

Miami Heat Twitter

The Miami Heat emphatically ended Charlotte's season Sunday, beating the Hornets 106-73 in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Bellingham Traffic