XML Feed for RxPG News   Add RxPG News Headlines to My Yahoo!   Javascript Syndication for RxPG News

Research Health World General
 
  Home
 
 Latest Research
 Cancer
 Psychiatry
  Depression
  Neuropsychiatry
  Personality Disorders
  Bulimia
  Anxiety
  Substance Abuse
  Suicide
  CFS
  Psychoses
  Child Psychiatry
  Learning-Disabilities
  Psychology
  Forensic Psychiatry
  Mood Disorders
  Sleep Disorders
   Circardian Rhythm
  Peri-Natal Psychiatry
  Psychotherapy
  Anorexia Nervosa
 Genetics
 Surgery
 Aging
 Ophthalmology
 Gynaecology
 Neurosciences
 Pharmacology
 Cardiology
 Obstetrics
 Infectious Diseases
 Respiratory Medicine
 Pathology
 Endocrinology
 Immunology
 Nephrology
 Gastroenterology
 Biotechnology
 Radiology
 Dermatology
 Microbiology
 Haematology
 Dental
 ENT
 Environment
 Embryology
 Orthopedics
 Metabolism
 Anaethesia
 Paediatrics
 Public Health
 Urology
 Musculoskeletal
 Clinical Trials
 Physiology
 Biochemistry
 Cytology
 Traumatology
 Rheumatology
 
 Medical News
 Health
 Opinion
 Healthcare
 Professionals
 Launch
 Awards & Prizes
 
 Careers
 Medical
 Nursing
 Dental
 
 Special Topics
 Euthanasia
 Ethics
 Evolution
 Odd Medical News
 Feature
 
 World News
 Tsunami
 Epidemics
 Climate
 Business
Search

Last Updated: Aug 19th, 2006 - 22:18:38

Circardian Rhythm Channel
subscribe to Circardian Rhythm newsletter

Latest Research : Psychiatry : Sleep Disorders : Circardian Rhythm

   DISCUSS   |   EMAIL   |   PRINT
Computer models may reveal what makes human body clock tick
Jul 4, 2006, 00:54, Reviewed by: Dr. Ankush Vidyarthi

Researchers are using leading edge technology to replicate the behaviour of a few, well-understood genes and proteins. These functions - in effect, the cogs and wheels of the human body clock - are reproduced in the laboratory using computer models.

 
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh are using digital technology to develop an artificial body clock which can tell them more about the causes of sleeplessness. The computer-designed clock, which mimics the workings of key genes and proteins in the brain, can shed new light on the complex biological processes which influence our internal rhythms. The study is part of major Europe-wide investigation into sleep disturbance, which is a growing problem in the EU where one in every five employees now works shifts.

Understanding the subtleties of the human body clock is a hugely challenging task and, so far, attempts to explain its workings have met with only limited success. In order to build a clearer picture of the complex processes involved, the Edinburgh team has adopted a novel approach. Rather than observing how the clock functions in humans, and trying to discern what each 'part' does, scientists have begun building their own artificial clock from scratch.

Researchers are using leading edge technology to replicate the behaviour of a few, well-understood genes and proteins. These functions - in effect, the cogs and wheels of the human body clock - are reproduced in the laboratory using computer models. Once the team has developed a number of these key components, a prototype clock will be assembled by researchers in Szeged, Hungary.

Researchers will then test the new clock in simple yeast samples. Yeast is the perfect testing ground because it has no 24-hour clock of its own to upset the experiment, giving the scientists complete control over experiments. The new clock can be manipulated easily and analysed rapidly. The team will then test whether these artificial clocks can trigger in yeast cells the same rhythmic signals that produce the time-keeping function in the human clock.

Professor Andrew Millar, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, said: “Our aim is to build basic clocks and make them progressively more complicated. We will use the genetic information which we have at our disposal - and leading edge technologies - to introduce our synthetic 'clockwork' on to the blank canvas which yeast provides.

“This novel way of 'learning by doing' will test how much we currently understand about the biological clock and suggest ways in which we can adapt these circuits for other purposes in the future.”

The Edinburgh study is part of the EUCLOCK project, which involves researchers at 29 sites in 11 countries. Scientists will carry out a range of research projects, each designed to find out more about how genes and proteins are connected in humans, mice and flies to influence the workings of biological clocks.

Also playing a key role in the 16 million Euro project is an Edinburgh based start-up company, LUX biotechnology. The company will provide EUCLOCK scientists with innovative research tools which will monitor gene activity to assess the success of the various experimental approaches.

LUX's innovative technology, based on the light-emitting enzymes (luciferases), will provide researchers with a continuous read-out of the activity of the clock genes which will help scientists monitor how their artificial clocks are functioning.
 

- School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh
 

www.ed.ac.uk

 
Subscribe to Circardian Rhythm Newsletter
E-mail Address:

 



Related Circardian Rhythm News

Computer models may reveal what makes human body clock tick
New fruit fly protein JET illuminates circadian response to light
Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders exhibit altered sleeping and eating patterns
Body clock could be re-set: Research
Avoid jet lag by resetting body clock
Clocking in Pillow Time without the Pillow
Serotonin appears to modulate circardian rhythm


For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

Top of Page

 

© Copyright 2004 onwards by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited
Contact Us