New research in mice now shows that throwing off natural circadian rhythms over the long term can seriously disturb the body and brain, causing weight gain and impulsive behavior. It seems even to make mice dumber, or at least slower at solving new mazes.
Rockefeller University postdoctoral fellow Ilia Karatsoreos, who led the research, says the implications for humans are significant. “In our modern, industrialized society, the disruption of our individual circadian rhythms has become commonplace, from shift-work and jet lag to the constant presence of electric lighting.
These disruptions are not only a nuisance, but can also lead to serious health and safety problems.” Karatsoreos, who works in Bruce S. McEwen’s Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, presented his findings October 19 in Chicago as part of a panel at Neuroscience 2009, the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting.
To test the neurological impact of disrupting circadian rhythms, Karatsoreos and colleagues adjusted the hours in which mice were exposed to light, from their natural 24-hour cycle to 20 hours, with 10 hours of light and 10 hours of dark. After six to eight weeks of these shortened days, these mice began acting differently than their peers in a control group. They also showed several physiological differences.
While not any more active than the control mice, the disrupted mice were impulsive, a behavior measured in part by how long they wait to emerge into the light from a dark compartment in a cage. They were slower to figure out changes made to a water maze they had mastered, suggesting reduced mental flexibility. Physically, their body temperature cycles were disorganized when compared to their peers and the levels of hormones related to metabolism, such as leptin, which regulates appetite, and insulin, were elevated. Consequently the mice gained weight even though they were fed the same diet as the controls.
The researchers also found that the brains of the disrupted mice had shrunken and less complex neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex, an area important to the so-called executive function, which regulates mental flexibility among other things. “Those changes may help explain some of the behavioral effects of circadian disruptions,” Karatsoreos says.
Brett Norman | Newswise Science News
Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania
The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
16.01.2017 | Information Technology
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering