Changing Your Clock: New Research Explores How Your Body Keeps Time
April 24, 2008
Researchers have learned that circadian rhythms -- the 24-hour cycles that keep time for your body -- are involved in sleep, weight gain, mood disorders, and a variety of diseases. They have begun to make remarkable strides in identifying the genes and neural pathways involved in regulating your internal clock.
In one study, it was found that circadian rhythms regulate metabolic processes involved in diet-induced weight gain, while others are exploring the connection between the role of temperature in regulating your daily cycles.
And in one surprising finding, researchers found that a single amino acid change in a protein triggers a chain of genetic events involved in internal timekeeping.
If this single modification is impaired, it could disrupt the cascade and serve as the underpinning of circadian rhythm-related ailments.