Jet lag defeated by Science
Researchers have developed new molecules that can modify the human biological clock dismissing the problem of sleep deprivation among international travelers.
Tokyo: Researchers have developed new molecules that can modify the human biological clock dismissing the problem of sleep deprivation among international travelers.
Most living organisms have a circadian or a 24 hour biological clock which regulates the functions of the body. This cycle often gets disrupted in situations like jet lag and sleep disorders like sleep apnea where long-term sleep loss ensues.
This may affect cardiovascular, endocrine, immune and nervous systems with severe consequences including hypertension, obesity and mental health disorders, among others.
"We can make bioactive molecules that can control the circadian rhythm of animals and gain further insight into the circadian clock mechanism which will surely contribute to medical applications, food production and advances in clock research," said Takashi Yoshimura, professor at Nagoya University's Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) in Japan.
The team synthesised the activity of circadian rhythm-changing molecules and targeted a molecule that affects a specific circadian protein called CRY.
The findings showed that FBLX3 -- a compound that readies protein CRY for degradation by cellular enzyme -- competes with KL001 -- a molecule that lengthens the circadian cycle -- to preventing its degradation.
The authors note that the detrimental effects of jet lag could be significantly reduced if one can reset the 24 hour biological cycle.