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Feeding the clock
Date:11/25/2009

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"Our study represents a seminal shift in how we think about circadian cycles," says Panda. "The circadian clock is no longer the sole driver of rhythms in gene function, instead the phase and amplitude of rhythmic gene function in the liver is determined by feeding and fasting periodsthe more defined they are, the more robust the oscillations become."

While the importance of robust metabolic rhythms for our health has been demonstrated by shift workers' increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, the underlying molecular reasons are still unclear. Panda speculates that the oscillations serve one big purpose: to separate incompatible processes, such as the generation of DNA-damaging reactive oxygen species and DNA replication.

Panda, for one, has stopped eating between 8 pm and 8 am and says he feels great. "I even lost weight, although I eat whatever I want during the day," he says.


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Contact: Gina Kirchweger
kirchweger@salk.edu
858-453-410-01340
Salk Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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