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Body Clock Reset

May 3, 2012

Adjusting a mouse’s body clock improves its metabolism and promotes weight loss.



Therapeutic clockwork.  I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Studies suggest that obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders also disrupt biological clocks.  Now, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have found that re-setting those clocks may help treat these conditions.  Molecular biophysicist Thomas Burris and his colleagues created drugs that regulate body clocks.  When they tried them on healthy mice, the mice lost weight.

THOMAS BURRIS (Scripps Research Insitute):

And so we put the mice on this high fat diet for a period of time, and then put them on the compound, and the animals would lose weight, and their cholesterol decreased, triglycerides decreased, and they became more insulin-sensitive.


This was true even though their diet and food intake didn’t change.  The drugs had a similar effect on genetically obese mice.  Now, Burris wants to find out if the compound can affect other conditions linked to body clock malfunctions, including mental and behavioral illnesses.  I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.