PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

A sleep disorder associated with shift work may affect gene function

Going on holiday has a restorative effect on changes in DNA

2021-02-22
(Press-News.org) Long-term sleep deprivation is detrimental to health, increasing the risk of psychiatric and somatic disorders, such as depression and cardiovascular diseases. And yet, little is known about the molecular biological mechanisms set in motion by sleep deprivation which underlie related adverse health effects.

In a recently published study, the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and the Finnair airline investigated dynamic changes to DNA methylation in shift workers. DNA methylation denotes epigenetic regulation that modifies gene function and regulates gene activity without changing the sequence of bases in the DNA.

Short-term genetic changes caused by DNA methylation are not well known. While methylation is connected with our surroundings, more research is needed on how the environment affects epigenetic regulation and gene function.

The recently published study provides researchers with new information on both DNA methylation and the biological processes that have an impact on a sleep disorder related to shift work (shift work disorder, or SWD).

The study was published in the esteemed Scientific Reports publication series.

Changes to DNA methylation can mediate infections caused by sleep deprivation

A total of 32 shift workers participated in the study, of whom 21 suffered from shift work disorder and 11 were in the control group. Dynamic changes to DNA methylation were investigated through a genome-wide analysis during work and after a holiday period.

Changes to DNA methylation which affected gene function were identified in study subjects suffering from a sleep disorder caused by shift work. The findings demonstrated that rest and recovery during holiday periods also resulted in the restoration of DNA methylation in cases where changes had been observed during the work period.

The study proved the dynamic nature of DNA methylation, which was particularly emphasised in the activity of NMDA glutamate receptors. The strongest evidence was gained from the GRIN2C receptor: the methylation level of a specific CpG base pair in the regulatory region was lower during the work period in subjects suffering from shift work disorder. However, this change was reversed after the holiday period.

"Based on the results, we can deduce that changes to the DNA methylation of white blood cells are associated with shift work disorder. These changes, such as low methylation levels observed during the work period, are probably linked to sleep deprivation and related inflammatory consequences which DNA changes may mediate," says doctoral student Alexandra Lahtinen, MSc, from the University of Helsinki.

"Sufficient rest and recovery are important for everyone, but especially important for people with a background of long-term sleep deprivation due to, for example, living habits or irregular working conditions. Having said that, it's positive that the subjects recovered from at least some of the changes related to shift work disorder observed in the study," says Professor Tiina Paunio from the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, who was the principal investigator of the study.

INFORMATION:



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Concept for a new storage medium

2021-02-22
Physicists from Switzerland, Germany and Ukraine have proposed an innovative new data storage medium. The technique is based on specific properties of antiferromagnetic materials that had previously resisted experimental examination. Using nanoscale quantum sensors, an international research team has succeeded in exploring certain previously uncharted physical properties of an antiferromagnetic material. Based on their results, the researchers developed a concept for a new storage medium published in the journal Nature Physics. The project was coordinated by researchers from the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel. Antiferromagnets make up 90 percent of all magnetically ordered materials. Unlike ferromagnets such as iron, ...

Using human rights laws may be most effective way of harnessing international legislation to protect

2021-02-22
Using laws governing human rights may be the best way of harnessing international legislation and tribunals to protect the Amazon, a new study shows. Safeguarding the rainforest is a critical priority because of the ecosystem's planetary importance. Recent increases in deforestation and fires in the region have made this even more urgent. The new research, published in the Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law (RECIEL), says using human rights law to protect the Amazon is more likely to have stronger prospects, as campaigners wouldn't need to submit information about more than one nation for it to be upheld. Courts would only need to judge that environmental damage violated the rights of either certain individuals or tribal and indigenous peoples. The ...

Big Data to model the evolution of the cosmic web

Big Data to model the evolution of the cosmic web
2021-02-22
The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has led an international team which has developed an algorithm called COSMIC BIRTH to analyse large scale cosmic structures. This new computation method will permit the analysis of the evolution of the structure of dark matter from the early universe until the formation of present day galaxies. This work was recently published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS). The IAC researcher, a co-author of the article and leader of the group of Cosmology and Large Scale Structure (LSS) Francisco-Shu Kitaura explains that one of the key aspects of this algorithm "consists in expressing the observations as if they had been detected in the early universe, which ...

The appearance of robots affects our perception of the morality of their decisions

2021-02-22
Moralities of Intelligent Machines is a project that investigates people's attitudes towards moral choices made by artificial intelligence. In the latest study completed under the project, study participants read short narratives where either a robot, a somewhat humanoid robot known as iRobot, a robot with a strong humanoid appearance called iClooney or a human being encounters a moral problem along the lines of the trolley dilemma, making a specific decision. The participants were also shown images of these agents, after which they assessed the morality of their decisions. The study was funded by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation and the Academy of Finland. The trolley dilemma is a problem ...

Magnetic effect without a magnet

Magnetic effect without a magnet
2021-02-22
Electric current is deflected by a magnetic field - in conducting materials this leads to the so-called Hall effect. This effect is often used to measure magnetic fields. A surprising discovery has now been made at TU Wien, in collaboration with scientists from the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland), McMater University (Canada), and Rice University (USA): an exotic metal made of cerium, bismuth and palladium was examined and a giant Hall effect was found to be produced by the material, in the total absence of any magnetic field. The reason for this unexpected result lies in the unusual properties of the electrons: They behave as if magnetic ...

A novel gene discovery associated with a development disorder of pituitary origin

A novel gene discovery associated with a development disorder of pituitary origin
2021-02-22
The pituitary gland is a pea-sized endocrine gland composed of two structurally and functionally separate parts known as anterior and posterior lobes. The pituitary gland's anterior lobe secretes six hormones essential to growth, reproduction, and other basic physiological functions. Abnormal development of the pituitary gland, or hypopituitarism, can cause mild or complete deficiency of one or more pituitary hormones, which manifests as highly varying symptoms. Tumours mainly cause hypopituitarism in humans, but a congenital factor can also be associated with the disorder. The POU1F1 gene regulates the development of the ...

A fifth of adults in Sweden report dental anxiety

A fifth of adults in Sweden report dental anxiety
2021-02-22
In Sweden, approximately one in five adults suffers from dental anxiety or phobia. The number has decreased over time, but still an important part of the population have major problems, according to a recent doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg. The thesis includes a nationwide interview study involving 3,500 adult individuals, randomly selected from the general population of Sweden. Nineteen percent of the participants reported some degree of dental anxiety, fear or phobia. The results showed that 4.7% of the respondents described their dental anxiety as severe, 4.5% as moderate and 9.8% as low. The remaining 80.9% reported no dental anxiety. The proportion with no dental ...

Scientists claim that all high-energy cosmic neutrinos are born by quasars

Scientists claim that all high-energy cosmic neutrinos are born by quasars
2021-02-22
Scientists of the P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (LPI RAS), the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and the Institute for Nuclear Research of RAS (INR RAS) studied the arrival directions of astrophysical neutrinos with energies more than a trillion electronvolts (TeV) and came to an unexpected conclusion: all of them are born near black holes in the centers of distant active galaxies powerful radio sources. Previously, only neutrinos with the highest energies were assumed to be obtained in sources of this class. It is believed that there are massive black holes in the centers ...

Scientists model a peculiar type of breast cancer

Scientists model a peculiar type of breast cancer
2021-02-22
Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is a type of breast cancer that begins in the milk-producing glands (lobules) of the breast. It covers 10-15% of all breast cancer cases, has a high risk of late recurrence, unique metastatic sites, high sensitivity to hormones, unpredictable responses to therapies, unique histopathology, distinctive biology, and resists chemotherapy. More than 90% of ILC tumors also contain estrogen receptors, meaning that they can receive hormone signals from the body e.g. estradiol, that can spur their growth and metastasis. Despite all this, ILC is relatively understudied compared to other breast cancers, and as a result, there have been very few models developed to study it. The reason is ...

Terrestrial laser scanning for monitoring hydrological cycle of trees

2021-02-22
Water is an essential element for all living things. Understanding the dynamics of water in trees is crucial for understanding the consequences of climate change and altered water availability for forest ecosystems. This study, which is a product of a joint research project with Samuli Junttila PhD, and Professor Masato Katoh of Shinshu University's Institute for Mountain Science and others demonstrates a new laser scanning based method that can be used to monitor changes in leaf water content of tree communities. Lasers can be used to measure and monitor the leaf water content of trees and plants, because the reflection of laser light at the shortwave infrared region is changed due to varying leaf water ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Young white-tailed deer that disperse survive the same as those that stay home

Research pinpoints unique drug target in antibiotic resistant bacteria

'Pompeii of prehistoric plants' unlocks evolutionary secret -- study

Time needed to sequence key molecules could be reduced from years to minutes

Legume trees key to supporting tropical forest growth

Premature birth disrupts Purkinje cell function, resulting in locomotor learning deficits

Adult life expectancy falling for those without a college degree

Tracing malaria's ecology using blood samples from birds

BU researchers identify basic mechanisms that regulate HIV expression

Aging-US: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy impact on telomere length & immunosenescence

Cheap, nontoxic carbon nanodots poised to be quantum dots of the future

Water temperature key to schistosomiasis risk and prevention strategies

Lights on for silicon photonics

How fast is the universe expanding? Galaxies provide one answer.

Greater tobacco use linked to higher levels of inflammation in HIV-positive people

Northern Hemisphere summers may last nearly half the year by 2100

Study finds racial disparities in COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes

Complement inhibition reverses mental losses in preclinical traumatic brain injury models

Membrane around tumors may be key to preventing metastasis

A plant's place in history can predict susceptibility to pathogens

Are higher obesity rates in minority groups a product of systemic racism?

Hypertension disorders of pregnancy increase risk of premature maternal mortality

Why odors trigger powerful memories

New technique brings the study of molecular configuration into the microscopic domain

Speeding treatment for urinary tract infections in children

Financial pollution in the US health system

Understanding the resilience of barrier islands and coastal dunes after storms

A better way to measure acceleration

Brain activity foreshadows changes in stock prices

New discovery explains antihypertensive properties of green and black tea

[Press-News.org] A sleep disorder associated with shift work may affect gene function
Going on holiday has a restorative effect on changes in DNA