Artificial light at night disrupts cell division

Apr 12, 2010

Just one "pulse" of artificial light at night disrupts circadian cell division, reveals a new study carried out by Dr. Rachel Ben-Shlomo of the University of Haifa-Oranim Department of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology along with Prof. Charalambos P. Kyriacou of the University of Leicester.

"Damage to cell division is characteristic of cancer, and it is therefore important to understand the causes of this damage," notes Dr. Ben-Shlomo. The study has been published in the journal Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics.

The current research was carried out by placing lab mice into an environment where they were exposed to light for 12 hours and dark for 12 hours. During the dark hours, one group of mice was given artificial light for one hour. Changes in the expression of genes in the rodents' were then examined.

Earlier studies that Dr. Ben-Shlomo carried out found that the cells' is affected, and in the present research she revealed that the mode of cell division is also harmed and that the transcription of a large number of genes is affected. She states that it is important to note that those genes showing changes in their expression included genes that are connected to the formation of cancer as well as that assist in the fight against cancer. "What is certain is that the natural division is affected," Dr. Ben-Shlomo clarifies.

This research joins earlier studies from the University of Haifa on the effects of exposure to artificial light at night.

Explore further: Nutritional supplement boosts muscle stamina in animal studies

Related Stories

Lack of fragile X and related gene fractures sleep

Jun 26, 2008

Lack of both the fragile X syndrome gene and one that is related could account for sleep problems associated with the disorder, which is the common cause of inherited mental impairment, said a consortium of researchers led ...

Internal clock, external light regulate plant growth

Jul 09, 2007

Most plants and animals show changes in activity over a 24-hour cycle. Now, for the first time, researchers have shown how a plant combines signals from its internal clock with those from the environment to show a daily rhythm ...

Recommended for you

Organ transplant rejection may not be permanent

14 hours ago

Rejection of transplanted organs in hosts that were previously tolerant may not be permanent, report scientists from the University of Chicago. Using a mouse model of cardiac transplantation, they found that immune tolerance ...

Researchers find key mechanism that causes neuropathic pain

16 hours ago

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have identified a key mechanism in neuropathic pain. The discovery could eventually benefit millions of patients with chronic pain from trauma, diabetes, shingles, multiple ...

Deep sea light shines on drug delivery potential

16 hours ago

A naturally occurring bioluminescent protein found in deep sea shrimp—which helps the crustacean spit a glowing cloud at predators—has been touted as a game-changer in terms of monitoring the way drugs ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Crucialitis
not rated yet Apr 14, 2010
Light at night = deadly. Got it.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.