Saturday, February 19, 2005

ClockNews #27: A Venerable Cornucopia Of Arcane Circadiana

Biological clock may shut down long-term memory at night
http://www.physorg.com/news3115.html

Scientists have known for a while that the brain's biological (or circadian) clock influences natural body cycles, such as sleep and wakefulness, metabolic rate and body temperature. New research from Eskin suggests the circadian clock also may regulate the formation of memory at night. This new research focuses on "Circadian Modulation of Long-term Memory Formation" and "Long-term Regulation of Glutamate Uptake in Aplysia," with NIH funding to be disbursed over four years.

UH Professor receives $2.5 million in grants to continue learning, memory research
http://www.rxpgnews.com/article_404.shtml

"There is a lot of research going on in memory," Eskin said. "How do we remember things given that we don't have a camera in our brain to record events? What changes take place in our brains that allow us to remember? These grants are about fundamental learning and memory and about modulation of memory."

Local college students win awards in academics from USA Today
http://www.herald-sun.com/durham/4-578020.html

Wat studied circadian rhythms while still a high school student and did breast cancer research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, where she met Watson.

Dark little secret
http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050217/FEATURES03/502170303/1010/FEATURES

Imagine a scenario where you get up in the morning with absolutely no hunger. You don't eat.
As the day wears on, you drink a lot of coffee. You eat a light lunch or snack.
Come dinnertime you're ravenous. You eat dinner.
But then you snack after dinner almost continuously right up to the time you go to bed. Your choices may include candy, cookies, potato chips or ice cream.
After falling asleep, you wake up and are convinced you can't get back to sleep unless you eat something. You feel frantic. That's when you steal into the kitchen and eat peanut butter right out of the jar.
This is the pattern day after day for people with night eating syndrome.

Best Time Of Day
http://cbs2chicago.com/health/local_story_047190317.html

If you stop and think for a moment, you might be surprised at all you get done in a day. But you may not be doing it as efficiently as you could. There is real science behind when to eat breakfast and ask the boss for a raise. CBS 2's Alita Guillen tells you the best time of day. We're busy doing it all, but maybe we are doing it all at the wrong time.

New Effects Of Melatonin Revealed
http://www.dailycal.org/article.php?id=17657

In a recent study, researchers found that the melatonin hormone supplement that is available without a prescription has greater effects on the body than previously thought.
[I have data that are consistent with their data but not with their conclusions. Your curiosity will have to wait until my stuff is published - sorry]


Rods and cones... and these
http://www.nature.com/nature/links/050217/050217-9.html

The recent discovery of inner retinal photoreceptors in mammals and fish was a major surprise. Present in addition to the well known rods and cones, these receptors are thought to detect irradiance levels, and to be linked to the night-and-day regulation of the circadian system. Two new studies show that melanopsin, found almost exclusively in these 'ganglion-cell photoreceptors', is photosensitive. Qiu et al. turn mammalian kidney cells into functional photoreceptors by introducing melanopsin, and Melyan et al. do a similar trick in neuronal cells. These findings could have clinical applications, possibly allowing selective stimulation of cells in the brain and helping to restore sight lost due to retinal degeneration. A further study identifies a previously unknown retinal population of 'giant' melanopsin-expressing ganglion cells. They are photosensitive but are also activated by rods and cones, thereby merging the conventional 'image forming' pathway with the radiance-detecting pathway in primates.

Naturopathic medicine: Guidelines can help the sleep-deprived
http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2005/02/16/build/health/65-naturo-meds.inc

I have been battling insomnia for years. I read your article on the ramifications of inadequate sleep and would really appreciate some non-drug sleep guidelines.

Lung function peaks during late afternoon
http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/health/article.jsp?content=20050215_105651_4816

Researchers say lung function has a natural rhythm that peaks during late afternoon and bottoms out around midday. Ultimately, this information may help determine the best time of day to exercise or take certain drugs.

Morning Exercise May Make Sleep Easier
http://paktribune.com/news/index.php?id=93819

Older women who often have trouble sleeping may want to consider a little workout in the morning for a better rest at night.
Morning exercisers had fewer complaints about a bad night's sleep and those who stretched in the morning had somewhat better sleep, a new study found. Women who exercise in the evening, on the other hand, were more likely to be up at night.


Nurses as Shiftworkers: New Report Is First of Its Kind to Detail Key Labor, Economic, and Safety Issues, and Proposed Solutions
http://press.arrivenet.com/edu/article.php/585608.html

Despite projections that nursing is one of the top ten growth jobs for the next 15 years, our health care system is on the verge of an overwhelming nurse shortage and health care crisis. In fact, an estimated 50% of nurses will be at retirement age within 15 years, and new nurses aren't entering the field fast enough to stabilize the imminent mass departure. This and other issues are explored in depth in "Extended Hours Issues in Nursing: Exploring the Problems, Finding the Solutions," the new report from CIRCADIAN, a research and consulting firm specializing in reducing shiftwork operations' costs, risks, and liabilities.

2004 Grand Prize Winner
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/307/5711/864

Dr. Tu obtained his Ph.D. in 2003 and moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Steven L. McKnight with a fellowship from the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation. He is currently studying the metabolic cycles of yeast and hopes to apply what he learns to the study of circadian rhythms.

Electric Light-Breast Cancer Link Studied
http://www.keralanext.com/news/indexread.asp?id=110745

Their theory is that prolonged periods of exposure to artificial light disrupt the body's circadian rhythms - the inner biological clocks honed over thousands of years of evolution to regulate behaviors such as sleep and wakefulness. They are looking into whether that disruption affects levels of hormones such as melatonin and the workings of cellular machinery, and whether it triggers breast cancer.

Some snooze, some lose
High-schoolers sleep more; others on buses earlier
http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWSJ_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031780744605&path=!localnews!education&s=1037645509111

With a later school-start time, high-school students in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system reported sleeping about 34 more minutes every night, doing more homework and falling asleep in class less frequently, according to a survey released this week.
"Those are really positive results," Superintendent Don Martin said. "The trends on everything were good."
The start time for high schools was switched from 7:35 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. in the 2003-04 school year.


More overtime means higher turnover: study
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050209/CANOTE09-2/TPBusiness/General

Employers are demanding more overtime work and that is a key factor behind an increasing rate of turnover and workers compensation claims in the United States, according to a survey by Circadian Technologies, Inc., a Massassachusetts-based consultancy.

The Risks Of Prenatal Viral Infections
http://www.courant.com/news/health/hc-frontiers0208.artfeb08,0,6490574.story?coll=hc-headlines-health

Genes that regulate cycles of sleep and wakefulness may also determine how well cancer patients respond to chemotherapy, according to researchers at Northwestern University.Oncologists have long argued that the benefits of chemotherapy vary depending upon the time of day it is administered. According to research published in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, mice given the cyclophosphamide in the late afternoon had better survival rates than mice given the chemotherapeutic agent in the morning.The researchers then tested mice bred to have mutations of two genes known to dampen the effect of the body's circadian rhythms, or the 24-hour cycle that influences functions such as body temperature, oxygen consumption, rest and activity.The mice with mutations in the two "clock" genes gene showed high sensitivity to chemotherapy, no matter when it was administered. By contrast, mice with a defect in another clock, which stops the body's internal clock at the body's most active point in the cycle, did not respond to the chemotherapy agent, no matter when it was administered.The researchers said the genes seem to influence survival of immune system cells and affect their sensitivity to chemotherapy.The findings could one day be used to help oncologists determine the best time of day to administer therapies and potentially lower doses of the toxic agents.

Are you SAD? Seasonal Affective Disorder can be depressing, but there are ways to beat it
http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050208/HEALTH/502080324/1008

With limited sunlight during the winter months, it makes it difficult to get outside after normal work hours. The temperature also drops after the sun goes down, making a jog even less appealing. As a result, some people suffer from symptoms of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. It's related to seasonal variations of light during the winter months with symptoms subsiding with the return of spring and summer.

Space-age medicine for earthly practices
http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/02/14/hll20214.htm

Researchers tackling the health concerns of space travelers are finding solutions for such problems as osteoporosis and sleep deprivation.

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