Night owl? Gene mutation may disrupt your body’s internal circadian clock

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Millions of adults simply cannot go to sleep at the conventional time that most Americans do, [usually because] their internal circadian clocks are “programmed” differently.

However, researchers…say the cause is a gene mutation, which has just been identified by a scientific team at The Rockefeller University in New York.

“This study is the first to implicate a gene mutation in the development of DSPD,” or Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, which night owls have, according to a statement that announced the study.

“According to the new research, the mutation may be present in as many as one in 75 people in some populations,” says senior author Michael W. Young, the head of Rockefeller’s Laboratory of Genetics.

“In a healthy circadian clock, a handful of genes turn on and off over a 24 hour cycle,” the university stated. “The protein made by CRY1 is normally responsible for suppressing some of these genes during certain parts of the cycle. But Young and Patke discovered that the mutation…made the CRY1 protein more active than usual, keeping other clock genes switched off for a longer period of time.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Mutated Gene Keeps Night Owls Awake

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