I have always wondered if there was something wrong with me, besides the obvious… I go through stages where I want to go to sleep earlier in the day, then times where I can easily stay up all night. Now a study shows that there is a gene in some people that puts the person on a 27 hour schedule as opposed to the 24 hour schedule that most people live on.
If you click on the link at the end to the story, read some of the comments. They echo many of the issues that I face and it is nice to see others facing a constantly changing schedule.
The altered gene, named “after hours” or Afh, is a variant of a gene called Fbxl3, which had not been linked to the body clock that keeps our metabolism, digestion and sleep patterns in tune with the rising and setting of the sun.
The discovery involved scientists from the Medical Research Council Mammalian Genetics Unit, Oxfordshire, the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology, Cambridge, and colleagues based at New York University.
Pharmaceutical companies are already beginning to study this class of proteins as potential drug targets.
By monitoring when and how often the mice chose to run on an exercise wheel the team spotted a change in some of the animals’ normal rhythms.
Instead of following the typical 24 hour pattern, some of the mice had body clocks that stretched to up to a 27 hour day.
Closer study of the DNA from the mice then revealed that those on a 27-hour-cycle had the after hours version of the Fbxl3 gene, one of a large family that controls the breakdown of specific proteins within body cells. via the Telegraph