A jet lag cure could soon be on the horizon as scientists in Japan have developed a new molecule that modifies the circadian rhythm.
Researchers at Nagoya University's Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules have developed a set of molecules which effectively shorten our circadian period.
Almost all living organisms have a biological clock which resets every 24 hours, if that pattern is disrupted, as it can be through flying or shift work, then sleep disorders start to appear.
This biological clock is managed by four 'master' proteins: CLOCK, BMAL1, PER and CRY.
The first two promote the creation of the second two, while the second two then block the first. This circle of creation and destruction is what regulates our bodies.
What the researchers were able to do is modify a molecule called KL001 into preventing the degradation of CRY, thus shortening the circadian cycle.
By effectively tailor making molecules which can adjust our own body clocks the scientists hope that treatments can eventually be synthesised which will help our bodies adapt far quicker to disruptive influences like starting a night-shift pattern or flying a considerable distance.
Takashi Yoshimura, one of the authors of the article, says, "We hope we can make further use of synthetic chemistry to make bioactive molecules that can control the circadian rhythm of animals and gain further insight into the circadian clock mechanism."
By controlling our own body clocks the molecules would be able to effectively shorten the jet lag period considerably, and perhaps in the future, remove it completely.
This isn't the first time that scientists have tried to find ways of combating jet lag.
Back in 2013 scientists were able to adjust the body clocks of mice by identifying certain parts of the brain which directly control our physical reactions to the body clock.
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