Wake-Up Gene Found

Guest_Jim_* - October 4, 2011 08:56AM in Science & Technology

Ever wonder what it is that wakes you up? I don’t mean an alarm clock, pet, or person, but the biology to get you up and going for the new day. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies appear to have found the genetic sequence which revs up our body; KDM5A. From when a person wakes up until he or she falls asleep, a protein, central to our biological clock, called PERIOD or PER, is produced. At night the amount is high enough to trip the system producing it, so levels reduce. What KDM5A does is get the production going again in the morning. This result can have consequences for those with sleep disorders, chronic issues, and the elderly. The biological clock is tied to many parts of our metabolism and if it becomes disturbed by late shifts at work, or just aging, problems may arise. Further research into this gene must be done, but the impact the work can have is amazing.