Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
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Starving Jet Lag

How hunger heals jet lag.

Jet lag got you draggin'?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science

and with a new solution to jet lag. Hunger!

Apparently, mammals have TWO biological clocks.

The CIRCADIAN clock regulates sleeping and eating based on daylight. But in really hungry times a second clock kicks in.

Clifford Saper of Harvard Medical School tested mice lacking the gene B-M-A-L-1, which controls the body's clock.

First BMAL 1 was introduced to a part of the brain called the SUPERCHIASMATIC NUCLEUS. Mice adjusted their sleep to a daylight-based schedule.

Then the gene was introduced to another part of the brain called DORSOMEDIAL NUCLEUS. NOW mice adjusted ONLY to a schedule based on hunger.

When food is scarce, the hunger clock overrides the circadian one.

Result of these brainy manipulations? A possible new way to prevent jet lag.

Saper suggests long-distance travelers starve themselves for sixteen hours prior to landing.

To reset your clocks? Pig out immediately upon arrival.

It's yet another excellent reason to avoid airline meals. And save a few hundred dollars in the process! That second tiny carry on, though. That's worth the money.