Tuesday November 19, 2019
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Night Shifts, Jet Leg Disrupt Rhythm of Genes

A University of Surrey study has found that the daily rhythms of our genes are disrupted when sleep times shift

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Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

For those who work in night shifts or miss on sleep owing to heavy air travel, it is time to set the clock right to get rhythm of your genes back in shape.

A University of Surrey study has found that the daily rhythms of our genes are disrupted when sleep times shift.

“This research may help us understand the negative health outcomes associated with shift work, jet lag and other conditions in which the rhythms of our genes are disrupted,” said professor Derk-Jan Dijk from the sleep research centre at University of Surrey, England.

Researchers placed 22 participants on a 28-hour day in a controlled environment without a natural light-dark cycle.

As a result, their sleep-wake cycle was delayed by four hours each day.

Genes are a part of DNA/RNA.
Genes- A segment of DNA. Pixabay

The team then collected blood samples to measure the participants’ rhythms of gene expression.

During this disruption of sleep timing, there was a six-fold reduction in the number of genes that displayed a circadian rhythm (internal body clock with 24-hour cycle), said the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Over 97 percent of rhythmic genes became out of sync with mistimed sleep and this really explains why we feel so bad during jet lag, or if we have to work irregular shifts,” said co-author Simon Archer from the school of biosciences and medicine.

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The study also revealed which genes may be regulated by sleep-wake cycles and which are regulated by central body clocks.

This finding provides new clues about sleep’s function as separate from the circadian clock.

“The results also imply that sleep-wake schedules can be used to influence rhythmicity in many biological processes, which may be very relevant for conditions in which our body clocks are altered, such as in aging,” added professor Derk-Jan Dijk. (IANS)

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Mutations in Genes Associated with Heart Disease: Study

The study was presented at the 2019 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia, US

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Genes
Apart from Genes, Researchers also identified lifestyle, environmental and other disease factors documented in the medical records that are associated with heart problems, like high blood pressure, diabetes, a history of alcohol or drug abuse, or previous chemotherapy treatment. Pixabay

Researchers have identified new mutations in Genes that is commonly associated with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NIDC), a disease that weakens the heart muscle, making it more difficult to adequately circulate blood to meet the body’s needs.

Patients with NIDC struggle because the heart’s ability to pump blood is decreased, as the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, is enlarged and dilated.

Unlike other kinds of heart conditions, NIDC often isn’t related to or a symptom or sign of a known cardiovascular disease or disease risk factor.

In the study, researchers from the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in the US, have identified 22 mutations in 27 of 229 NIDC patients in a gene called TITIN — 15 of them not previously discovered.

These TITIN mutations are of a type called “truncating variants”, or TTN-tv, which are linked with the development of cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

“Truncating mutations in TITIN are common in NIDC, so we wanted to know: if we find one, should we be more, or less worried about the patient’s prognosis? The answer is yes,” said principal investigator of the study Jeffrey L. Anderson.

In the study, the DNA samples of the 229 Intermountain patients diagnosed with NIDC were analysed.

Researchers also identified lifestyle, environmental and other disease factors documented in the medical records that are associated with heart problems, like high blood pressure, diabetes, a history of alcohol or drug abuse, or previous chemotherapy treatment.

Patients were evaluated when they first presented and then were followed for five years.

Genes
Researchers have identified new mutations in Genes that is commonly associated with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NIDC), a disease that weakens the heart muscle, making it more difficult to adequately circulate blood to meet the body’s needs. Pixabay

Patients with a TTN-tv mutation more often had severe cardiomyopathy at presentation, and by five years they were less likely to have recovered (11 per cent of those with a mutation versus 30 per cent of those without).

These patients also were more likely to have shown progressive disease, such as a heart transplant, implant of a permanent heart assist device, or death if they had a TTN-tv mutation (41 per cent) than if they didn’t (25 per cent).

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TTN-tv mutation patients also commonly were found to have non-genetic predisposing factors, suggesting that these other factors may act in concert with genetic factors to precipitate heart failure.

The study was presented at the 2019 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia, US. (IANS)