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

41 minutes ago in Sports

Heat & Spurs open NBA Playoffs with victories

Fresh
Miami Heat's LeBron James goes up to dunk in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, in Miami.

Washington & Portland pull off opening game upsets.

52 minutes ago in Sports

NHL Playoffs: Action on the ice heats up

Fresh
PLAYOFFS:St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller, left, and teammate David Backes prepare fore Game 1 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, April 17, in St. Louis. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS/JEFF ROBERSON

Flyers, Bruins even things up...Habs in command

1 hour ago in Sports

After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security

Fresh
Boston Police officer John Quinn walks with, Miller, his bomb detection canine, over the finish line while sweeping the area in preparation for the Boston Marathon, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Boston.

More than 100 cameras have been installed along the route in Boston, and 50 or so "observation points" will be set up around the finish line.

yesterday in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: April 21

dolly

A look at the news making Hollywood headlines in years past.

yesterday in Sports

Sox rally for 6-5 win over O’s on Sunday Night Baseball

boston red sox dustin pedroia game winning run from ap 8-1-13

Jonny Gomes hit a three-run homer for the Red Sox, who overcame a 5-0 deficit and improved to 4-5 in Fenway Park where they went 53-28 last season

Bellingham Traffic