Sunday, July 14, 2013

Your Brain's BIological Clock, 1

Studies have shown that you can cause problems for yourself when you override your brain's biological clock. According to Erik Herzog PhD, Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, the World Health Organization now lists shift work as a potential carcinogen. How so? When people repeatedly force their internal biological clock to reset, they throw off more than sleep. The biological clock regulates metabolism and cell division as well as sleep-wake cycles. So shift work, for example, is associated both with metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, and with the unregulated cell division that characterizes cancer. Researchers have reported the discovery of a crucial part of the biological clock in the brain’s wiring that sets its accuracy to within a few minutes out of the 1440 minutes per day. This wiring uses the GABA (γ-amino-butyric acid) neurotransmitter to connect the individual cells of the biological clock in a network that changes strength with time of day.

Part 2 tomorrow

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