Thursday, April 13, 2017

Night Owl Gene

The article "Study Finds 'Night Owl' Gene Variant" discusses the mutation of the gene CRY1, that results in people with longer circadian rhythms. People with longer circadian rhythms stay up longer at night and are also known as "night owls." The mutation of the CRY1 gene slows down a persons internal clock which causes trouble falling asleep. An experiment done by Young and Alina Patke, examined peoples circadian rhythms. They isolated them from signs of night and day and allowed them to sleep and eat when they pleased for two weeks. The study showed that most people had a normal sleep cycle, however the people with delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD) not only stayed up longer but had a cycle that was 30 minutes longer. When further examining DSPD, one of their patients was producing the CRY1 protein more than normal, slowing down the internal clock. After this was found the patients family was also tested. Five people in the patients family had the same mutated gene. According to their research 1 in 75 people have the mutated CRY1 gene. All in all, studies are further being conducted to focus on this mutation.

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