You are reading You know your cells have an internal clock?


You know your cells have an internal clock?

October 5, 2018

The human body has an internal clock that manages the physiological processes of the whole body, large and small, and affects activities such as concentration or how much weight we take or lose. Researchers have tried several times to measure the internal time of the human body through individual blood tests. This is a complex and expensive process, but it has recently been developed. Through an algorithm called “TimeSignature” and a simple blood test it is possible to understand how time flows inside our body. We talked about it with Dr. Marta Noemi Monari, Clinical Technical Coordinator for the development of Group Laboratories and Services of Humanitas.


The study and the new examination available

Nothwestern University has said that although the process is in some cases too expensive and not possible for some patients, understanding our internal time is important. If you know it, you can administer drugs more effectively because your body behaves differently during the day phases.

The new process developed, which consists of simply taking two vials of blood from the patient and through an algorithm called “TimeSignature” you can discover how time flows within our body. The process has yet to be developed, but it basically consists of ensuring that the algorithm is able to detect chemical congruences of 40 specific genes that can be traced in blood vials. These 40 genes were found by analyzing a large database extracting those that were most associated with the circadian rhythm. According to this research, the algorithm works regardless of whether the patient is healthy or ill.


The “TimeSignature” test and its role in prevention

The TimeSignature test is therefore able to predict the internal time within an hour and a half and all regardless of the amount of sleep that the patient has slept in the night before the test. The authors of the discovery have now let anyone use the algorithm, although a patent is coming soon on this new blood test that could help predict some diseases.

Pre-clinical studies conducted by Northwestern University have in fact made it possible to hypothesize a link between the misalignment of the circadian rhythm and many diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, depression, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

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