The Nobel in Medicine was awarded for the discovery of the mechanisms of circadian rhythms. What it is?

The Nobel in Medicine was awarded for the discovery of the mechanisms of circadian rhythms. What it is?

Sleep science earns three Americans the Nobel Prize in Medicine

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answers (2)

Answer 1
June, 2021

Many people have encountered the field for the discoveries in which the 2017 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was awarded, so the topic is intuitively close and understandable to everyone who worked the night shift, stood on guard, was on duty for 24 hours. Ambulance "or flew from Moscow to the Far East or to the American continent. When day changes in places with night, the importance of the "internal clock" becomes obvious.

It is possible that it is precisely because of its practical orientation that the topic attracts a large number of the most diverse charlatans. Advertisements for "biorhythm correctors" can be found in almost any source, in addition, in a glossy magazine they will tell you that it is better to have sex at 6 am, because at this time of day there is a maximum of sex hormones in the blood, and appoint a visit to the doctor at 4 pm when the brain contains the most endogenous narcotic analgesics-endorphins.

There are more advanced miracles. For example, a man in a white coat who calls himself a chronopharmacologist may suggest that you optimize the dose and frequency of medication prescribed by a normal doctor. Allegedly, by aligning the intake of pills with your internal rhythms, you can reduce the dose and shorten the course, and get more main effects, and get rid of side effects. So, this has about the same relation to pharmacology as astrology to astronomy. I suspect that the compilers of "tablet horoscopes" will now begin to focus the attention of gullible clients on the Nobel Prize, emphasizing their involvement in big science.

But so far we can only draw very modest practical conclusions from our knowledge. Yes, the prospects are impressive, yes, the results of experiments on drosophila and mice are amazing, but it is still a long way from a broad influence on the mechanism of the human “internal clock” in real clinical practice.

Answer 2
June, 2021

A more correct term is circadian rhythms, not circadian, because the root of this word is "dian", which means "day". A simpler synonymous term is circadian rhythms.

In any living organism, at whatever level it is, from the simplest bacteria to humans, all processes have a certain rhythm. Some processes have circadian rhythms, about 24 hours, some more or less. Inanimate nature also has all the processes, certain vibrations - the rotation of the Sun, Earth, and so on. Everything has oscillatory processes. For the human body, circadian processes are important, because our rhythm is determined by the rotation of the Earth, that is, by the days that are determined by solar illumination. The need for the emergence of circadian rhythms was associated with the adaptation of living nature to the environment due to the gradual increase in oxygen and ultraviolet rays. Therefore, the daily rhythm is an adaptation to sunlight, and not to other factors. Light determines our rhythm. There is such a concept - endogenous, that is, the internal rhythm of a person. Oddly enough, this rhythm is approximately 24.3 hours in duration, that is, it is slightly more than a day. But our biological clock constantly adjusts to external factors, and the Sun is such an external factor. By the way, our internal rhythm almost exactly corresponds to the days on Mars, so the assumption that life on Earth began from Mars in this sense has a certain recharge.

According to circadian rhythms, hormones are produced, the level of pressure, respiration and many other body functions depend on them. This discovery was made a long time ago, but the Nobel Prize was awarded for it only now. This is the result of many years of research not only by this group of scientists, these mechanisms are being studied all over the world. These mechanisms are important because they provide a genetic and molecular insight into how it all works. There is a group of genes that are responsible for these rhythms, and one of the main regulators is the hormone melatonin, which was previously incorrectly called the sleep hormone, although in fact it is the hormone of the night. This is a signal to the body that there is no sunlight. Moreover, the signal goes not only to the receptors of the cells, it goes to the genome, that is, in fact, to the DNA. Melatonin crosses the cell membrane and nucleus and affects the human genome. So during sleep, certain genes turn on and others turn off. This is very important for the functioning of the body, but, unfortunately, in the modern world, a person is more and more exposed to these changes. For example, a change in the sleep schedule, if a person gets up late and goes to bed late on weekends, and does not get enough sleep on weekdays, as well as long-distance flights, after which the circadian rhythms change dramatically and there is a mismatch in sunlight. All these factors only further exacerbate the problems associated not only with sleep, but also with human longevity.

This is a discovery on the molecular and geneticlevel shows how these processes proceed. It will allow in the future to intervene in these mechanisms. If someone has a genetic mutation, we will be able to restore the disturbed processes and use new drugs to adapt to the conditions that modern humans face.

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