The take home here is that aspecific class of proteins in blood maintains a twenty four hour cycle and thishas nothing to do with DNA.
In fact the old mysticism aboutour natural internal cycle been congruent with the ocean, the sun and the moonnow has a scientific basis. We have nowdetected it and can now track it against all three factors.
We may even find out that thecycle is linked to the new moon.
We are also a reminded that a lotof the simplest things in nature do remain to be discovered. This could have been figured out a centuryago using the same protocol.
Ancient body clock discovered that helps to keep all living things ontime
13:40 February 5, 2011
A group of
scientists have successfully identified the mechanism that drives our internal24-hour clock, or circadian rhythm. It occurs not only in human cells, but hasalso been found in other life forms such as algae, and has been dated backmillions of years. Whilst the research promises a better understanding of theproblems associated with shift-work and jet-lag, this mechanism has also beenproven to be responsible for sleep patterns, seasonal shifts and even themigration of butterflies. Cambridge
The study from the
Instituteof Metabolic Science at the discovered that red bloodcells contain this 24-hour rhythm. In the past, scientists assumed this rhythmcame from DNA and gene activity but unlike most cells, red blood cells do notcontain DNA. University of Cambridge
During this study, the
scientists incubated healthy red blood cells in the dark at body temperaturefor several days, sampling them at regular intervals. It was discovered thatthe levels of peroxiredoxins (proteins that are produced in blood), underwent a24-hour cycle. Virtually all known organisms contain peroxiredoxins. Cambridge
"The implications of this for health are manifold," saidAkhilesh Reddy, lead author of the study. "We already know that disruptedclocks – for example, caused by shift-work and jet-lag – are associated withmetabolic disorders such as diabetes, mental health problems and even cancer.By furthering our knowledge of how the 24-hour clock in cells works, we hopethat the links to these disorders – and others – will be made clearer. Thiswill, in the longer term, lead to new therapies that we couldn't even havethought about a couple of years ago."
A second study by scientists working together at the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge, and the Observatoire Oceanologique in
, identified a similar24-hour rhythm in marine algae. Once again, the scientists held a previousbelief that the circadian clock was driven by gene activity, but both the algaeand the red blood cells proved this theory wrong. Banyuls, France
"This groundbreaking research shows that body clocks are ancientmechanisms that have stayed with us through a billion years of evolution,"said Andrew Millar of the
Universityof Edinburgh's . "They must be far more importantand sophisticated than we previously realized. More work is needed to determinehow and why these clocks developed in people – and most likely all other livingthings on Earth – and what role they play in controlling our bodies." School of Biological Sciences
The papers "Circadian Clocks in Human Red Blood Cells" and"Circadian Rhythms Persist Without Transcription in a Eukaryote" werepublished on 27th January 2011 in the journal Nature.