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Author Topic: Can jetlag be avoided by shining light into the backs of the knees?  (Read 14962 times)

nassar hazari

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nassar asked the Naked Scientists:

I once heard that in order to avoid jet lag when travelling, one should shine a red light (say from a torch) into the back of the knee. What is the validity of this statement.

Thanks.... and an excellent show

Nassar
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 11/09/2008 02:50:52 by neilep »


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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I've never heard of that & I don't see how it could help.
 

Offline neilep

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I am surprised that the Japanese have not invented a portable ' back-of-knee-red-light-shiner '


It's all quite obvious really.

Jet lag fairies live in your blood stream....they commute back and forth every day and of course obey the highway code !.....The shining of a red light in the back of the knees acts like a traffic light.......when you disembark the plane.....flick the light to green momentarily and this will start the Jet Lag Fairies back on their usual path and acclimatised already to the new time zone.

This is true.

 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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I am surprised that the Japanese have not invented a portable ' back-of-knee-red-light-shiner '


It's all quite obvious really.

Jet lag fairies live in your blood stream....they commute back and forth every day and of course obey the highway code !.....The shining of a red light in the back of the knees acts like a traffic light.......when you disembark the plane.....flick the light to green momentarily and this will start the Jet Lag Fairies back on their usual path and acclimatised already to the new time zone.

This is true.


I'm convinced.
 

Offline RD

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Quote
Jet Lag Only Skin Deep
Friday, 1 November, 2002
by Nature Australia

Resetting the body clock after a long-distance flight can often take days to adjust. We've known for some time now that jet lag cannot be slept off; rather it requires a good dose of sunlight to be cured (see Nature Aust.* Summer 1990--91). Previously it had been assumed that the light signals reach the brain via the eyes, but new research shows the secret to altering the body clock may lie under the skin.

Scott Campbell and Patricia Murphy of Cornell University Medical College have shown that shining light directly on the skin can change the body clock. In lab trials on humans, sleeping patients had a beam of light shone for three hours on the area behind their knees. By switching on the light just before the patient's temperature reached its lowest point, at about 5.30 in the morning, the body clock was set back by three hours. Conversely, turning the light on after the body reached its minimum temperature allowed the body clock to advance three hours.
http://www.austmus.gov.au/archive.cfm?id=977
« Last Edit: 06/07/2008 15:21:32 by RD »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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 [:0]

I hope my words taste good coz I'm about to eat them!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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So, there we have it. Debunked on the radio show!  [^]
 

Offline thedoc

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Listen to this question on our podcast by clicking here
 

Offline RD

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A recent paper on this matter...

Quote
A mammalian clock protein responds directly to light
July 2nd, 2008 

 
We all know that light effects the growth and development of plants, but what effect does light have on humans and animals? A new paper by Nathalie Hoang et al., published in PLoS Biology this week, explores this question by examining cryptochromes in flies, mice, and humans. In plants, cryptochromes are photoreceptor proteins which absorb and process blue light for functions such as growth, seedling development, and leaf and stem expansion. Cryptochromes are present in humans and animals as well and have been proven to regulate the mechanisms of the circadian clock. But how they work in humans and animals is still somewhat of a mystery...

Although this paper by Hoang, et al, shows that cryptochromes in animals and humans do respond to light in a similar fashion to those in plants, the question as to how exactly light effects them is still open for further research. Although cryptochromes are mainly found in the retina of the eye, they are also present in many different tissues of the body that are close to the surface. This suggests that cryptochromes may have non-visual functions, and may also affect protein levels and behavior.
http://www.thinkgene.com/a-mammalian-clock-protein-responds-directly-to-light/


« Last Edit: 27/07/2008 02:19:53 by RD »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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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?
 

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