Cell biology Intelligent Design

Researchers: Body parts experience time separately from brain

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Body parts respond to day and night independently from brain, studies show

Researcher Paolo Sassone-Corsi /
Penny Lee, UCI School of Medicine

The study done in mice identified independent circadian clocks operating through the body, independent of the brain:

The studies, published today in the journal Cell, used specially bred mice to analyze the network of internal clocks that regulate metabolism. Although researchers had suspected that the body’s various circadian clocks could operate independently from the central clock in the hypothalamus of the brain, there was previously no way to test the theory, said Paolo Sassone-Corsi, director of UCI’s Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism and senior author of one of the studies.

To overcome that obstacle, scientists figured out how to disable the entire circadian system of the mice, then jump-start individual clocks. For the experiments reported in the Cell papers, they activated clocks inside the liver or skin.

“The results were quite surprising,” said Sassone-Corsi, Donald Bren Professor of Biological Chemistry. “No one realized that the liver or skin could be so directly affected by light.”

For example, despite the shutdown of all other body clocks, including the central brain clock, the liver knew what time it was, responded to light changes as day shifted to night and maintained critical functions, such as preparing to digest food at mealtime and converting glucose to energy.

University of California Irvine, “Body parts respond to day and night independently from brain, studies show” at Medical XPress

Knowing more about internal clocks may help with diagnostics.

Just think, all those little clocks just built themselves up from nothing, even though there is no pre-existing intelligence in nature – in a world where we take for granted that spontaneous generation never occurs … 😉

Paper.

Hat tip: Philip Cunningham

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