Saturday, June 16, 2012

Abstract Art

I think studies printed in scientific and medical journals are far too dry and boring for the casual reader who might otherwise have an interest in science. The eggheads would go a long way toward communicating their findings to a larger audience if they only added a few cartoons to their papers. Let me give you an example and tell me if you don't agree...

Sildenafil accelerates reentrainment of circadian rhythms after advancing light schedules

Abstract: Mammalian circadian rhythms are generated by a master clock located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei and entrained by light-activated signaling pathways. In hamsters, the mechanism responsible for light-induced phase advances involves the activation of guanylyl cyclase, cGMP and its related kinase (PKG). It is not completely known whether interference with this pathway affects entrainment of the clock, including adaptation to changing light schedules. Here we report that cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase 5 is present in the hamster suprachiasmatic nuclei, and administration of the inhibitor sildenafil (3.5 mg/kg, i.p.) enhances circadian responses to light and decreases the amount of time necessary for reentrainment after phase advances of the light–dark cycle. These results suggest that sildenafil may be useful for treatment of circadian adaptation to environmental changes, including transmeridian eastbound flight schedules.

In this study, Viagra was found to help hamsters suffering from jet lag.

No, I'm not joking.

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