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Study Identifies Protein Linked to Jet Lag

An article in BBC News reports on a study in Cell that has identified a possible cause of jet lag. Jet lag results from an inability to adapt to the differing light-dark cycles of different time zones. Though the exposure to light should allow our bodies to adapt to these new cycles, due to activity in the superchiasmatic nucleus (SCN), scientists have identified a protein called SIK1 that inhibits the body’s ability to adapt by deactivating another transcription factor, CRTC1. In the study, scientists observed SIK1 knockout mice and found that these mice more quickly adapted to experimentally induced jet lag, suggesting that blocking of this protein may allow for more rapid entrainment to new light-dark cycles.

Read the article in BBC News.

Read the study in Cell.