Sleep-Disrupted Mice Get Fat & Dumb
Artificially separated from a natural cycle of light and dark, the bodies and brains of mice go haywire in ways that may mimic the human effects of circadian disruption.
McEwen’s team turned lab lights on and off to create 20-hour days for mice, while a control group was kept on a regular 24 hour schedule. Within six weeks, the disrupted group started to gain weight, despite eating the same diet as controls. They grew obese, and had altered levels of insulin and leptin, two key metabolic hormones. Effects extended to their brains. In the prelimbic prefrontal cortex, a region important to emotional control and cognitive flexibility, neurons shrank and were arranged in less complex ways. The mice had trouble learning to navigate mazes, and were spooked by new environments. The researchers hope their model of disruption will be used for further investigation of circadian disruption.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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