Nassar Husari asked:
I once heard that in order to avoid jetlag when travelling you should shine a red light on the back of your knees. Is this true?
We put this question to Professor Russell Foster:
Let’s kill this one dead! In ’98 a group of researchers at Cornell University suggested that red light behind the knee would train the body clock. This got huge amounts of publicity. A lot of us thought it was nonsense at the time. It was published in Science, incidentally. Five studies around the world tried to replicate the findings and all completely failed. It looks as though there was some artefact in the experimental design of that original paper which was fundamentally flawed and they got it badly wrong. It did cause a huge amount of commotion. Let me assure you, it is nonsense.
nassar asked the Naked Scientists:
I've never heard of that & I don't see how it could help. DoctorBeaver, Sat, 5th Jul 2008
I am surprised that the Japanese have not invented a portable ' back-of-knee-red-light-shiner '
So, there we have it. Debunked on the radio show! DoctorBeaver, Sun, 6th Jul 2008
A recent paper on this matter...
Weird! The last thing I read about cryptochromes (New Scientist) was about their role in sensing magnetic fields (by fruitflies) for navigation. Does that mean that we havew a built in compass too? Bored chemist, Sun, 27th Jul 2008