Traveling to new time zones is commonplace in today’s world, but with it comes the dreaded jet lag. Researchers at Oxford University have finally found a piece to the puzzle in the long studied scientific problem of jet lag. According to BBC news,
“…they have found the “molecular brakes” that prevent light resetting the body clock when we fly – causing jet lag.”
Apparently our bodies are regulated by light, and when we travel around the world the timing gets off in our internal clocks. Scientists have been trying to figure out why humans don’t immediately adapt, and this new discovery is a huge step towards ending the dreaded jet lag problem.
Studies on mice reveal that “uncoupling” the “molecular brakes” allowed them to adapt very rapidly as reported in the Journal Cell. Instead of it taking six days for an untreated mouse to recover from symptoms of jet lag, it only took six hours when the scientists interfered.
“‘We’ve know there’s been a brake on the clock for some time, but we had absolutely no idea what it is, this provides a molecular basis for jet lag and as a result new targets for potentially developing new drugs.'” (Prof Russell Foster told the BBC)
There is also hope of this research helping schizophrenia patients who are said to have a messed up body clock. Persons who fly internationally could also benefit physically as the body clock also affects hunger, mood and blood pressure.
Now that scientists have figured out how to manipulate a persons body clock, there is hope for some relief for people who either suffer unwillingly from an out-of-sync body clock, or subject themselves to plane rides across the planet and get jet lag.
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