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Body Clock Healing

November 21, 2017

Time of day, along with our internal body clock, could affect how fast our wounds heal.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Healing on the clock. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

If you accidentally cut yourself, you’ll probably heal much faster if it happens during the day than at night, according to a study in Science Translational Medicine. That’s because our internal body clocks – or circadian rhythms –   regulate how quickly proteins are mobilized to repair our skin. This according to cell biologist John O’Neill of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the UK.

JOHN O’NEILL (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology):

There is a circadian clock in every single cell of the body.

HIRSHON:

His team analyzed the records of 118 burn patients in the UK, documenting dramatic differences in wound healing rates.

O’NEILL:

On average it was about 17 days that it took to heal for wounds occuring during the day and 28 days for wounds occurring at night.

HIRSHON:

The findings could contribute to new drugs that help improve surgical outcomes. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Susanne Bard