Ways in which modern life can cause ‘social jetlag'

Posted by ap507 at May 13, 2014 01:30 PM |
Body Clock Open Day: Saturday 7 June, University of Leicester

The Department of Genetics is to hold an open day on Saturday 7 June where the technological impact of modern life on our natural body clock will be discussed.

Tuesday 13 May is the BBC’s Day of the Body Clock exploring the eight body clock phases.

Professor Bambos Kyriacou (pictured) said: “Technological advances have permitted society to escape the temporal constraints usually imposed by the natural environment, thus allowing altered and irregular behavioural patterns, meal schedules and lightning regimes.

“Even social commitments and hectic work schedules challenge our internal clock, causing a syndrome which is generally referred to as “social jetlag”.

Leicester’s research focuses on the study of insect biological timing. Body clocks are molecular mechanisms that regulate biological processes with display oscillation of about 24 hours. They allow organisms to predict the daily environmental fluctuations due to the Earth’s rotation around its axis.  What is interesting about insects is that they have exactly the same clock molecules as we humans and all our advances in understanding human clock genes have come initially from identifying these molecules in the fruitfly.

An Open Day to raise awareness on the subject of biological clocks and the use of insects in genetic research is taking place on Saturday 7 June. More info of the event can be found here.

Professor Kyriacou, team leader of the research laboratory, explains the importance of body clocks and the use of model organisms in our research in this video:

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