Caution to Globetrotting Business Travellers

Researchers at the University of Virginia, led by Dr. Gene Block, have found that aged mice undergoing weekly light-cycle shifts—similar to those that humans experience with jet lag or rotating shift work—experienced significantly higher death rates than did old mice kept on a normal daylight schedule over the same eight-week period. The findings may not come as a great surprise to exhausted globetrotting business travellers, but the research nonetheless provides, in rather stark terms, new insight into how the disruption of circadian rhythms can impact well-being and physiology, and how those impacts might change with age.

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