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

11 hours ago in Local

Washington Apple Health data breach

files

The affected people can have a year of free credit monitoring.

11 hours ago in Local

Bellingham Aloha Motel site becoming affordable housing and offices

Motels on Samish Way

The city declared the Aloha Motel a blight and used the threat of condemnation to buy the site.

11 hours ago in Local

Bellingham City Council opposes violence against Planned Parenthood

planned parenthood

Tuesday night the council approved a resolution that affirm the safety of all Planned Parenthood patients, staff and facilities in Bellingham.

12 hours ago in Local

Bellingham Technical College to offer Bachelor’s degree

BTC

The Bachelor of Applied Science Degree will be in Operations Management.

12 hours ago in Local

Bellingham cyber stalking conviction thrown out

cyber

Bellingham Schools staff found out about threatening tweets and reported the girl to police.