Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Jet lag sucks. I don't really get it anymore, having learned to trick my system into adjusting very quickly, but I used to be totally wrecked for a few days after a big trip. Possible treatments for jetlag and shift-worker fatigue are the more commercial (and far less interesting) results of research into circadian rhythms and biological clocks. Since sequencing the genome (and before that too), scientists have found a number of genes which seem to be associated with circadian cycles, but no 'masters' have yet been identified.
A series of experiments lead to identification of a transcription factor, called Rora, which seems to function as such a 'master,' controlling another key gene in the system. The release gives lots of good background on all the processes involved, so its great reading (and not too technical!). Enjoy!