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.

Latest Headlines

1 hour ago in Local

Greek Orthodox Priest’s Sex Abuse Conviction Is Upheld

Fresh
GENERIC COURT LARGE

The Maine supreme court has rejected the appeal of a former Greek Orthodox priest convicted of sexually abusing a child.

1 hour ago in Local

Maine Small Business Grants Going To Brewer, Other Companies

Fresh
FINANCIAL-MONEY

A Lubec brewing company, a Greenville candle maker and a Sangerville cleaning service are among the businesses that will receive nearly $700,000

17 hours ago in Local

LePage Keeps Vow, Backs out of Husson University Appearance

governorlepage

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is backing out of an appearance at Husson University a day after vowing to stop attending ceremonial activities.

18 hours ago in Local

Fight at Strip Club leads to Stabbing in Denny’s Parking Lot

policecar

Portland Police are looking to speak to two suspects after a stabbing this morning.

23 hours ago in Local

Maine DOT Workers Repair US Route 1 Viaduct Guardrails

WGAN IMAGE

The Maine Department of Transportation has begun repairing guardrails along the U.S. Route 1 viaduct in Bath

Tweets

  • 1h
  • 17h
  • 23h
  • 25h
  • 25h
  • 39h
  • 39h