There Might Soon Be a Cure for (Your Pet Mouse’s) Jetlag | Smart News | Smithsonian
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There Might Soon Be a Cure for (Your Pet Mouse’s) Jetlag

Scientists have found the protein that prevents your (mouse's) body from adjusting to changing time zones

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So there you are, your circadian rhythm nicely synced up with the rising and falling of the Sun, when you decide to jet off to Europe, blasting the delicate balance between the clock and your body’s clock to smithereens. Now you have jet lag. But , according to recent research, says the BBC, science may soon have the answer.

A team of researchers have pinned down the molecular underpinning of jet lag, the thing that keeps your body’s clock from simply switching time zones. The scientists found that a protein dampens the effect of light on your bodily functions. Cutting back the level of this protein mean that the body clock could be easily reset. “Researchers hope the discovery will help find new drugs for jet lag and mental health treatments,” says the BBC.

So the next time you board a jet for few days of adventuring you’ll… no, you’ll still be wiped out and exhausted. But that pet mouse you brought with you? That mouse might be doing awesome.

The research was done on mice, and though mice and humans are basically the same things (right?), it’ll probably be a while (a long, long while) before you can pop an anti-jet lag pill with your dramamine before takeoff.

For now, then, Harvard has some more practical advice: ditch the coffee, get some sleep, don’t force it, eat light, and take a nap if you need to.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Your Alarm Clock May Be Hazardous to Your Health
Your Fruits and Vegetables Can Tell Day from Night—and Even Get Jet Lag

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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