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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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ScienceShot: Jet Lag Disrupts Pregnancies in Mice
23 May 2012 5:00 pm
What happens when you give a mouse jet lag? If she's pregnant, the results could be disastrous. In a new study, researchers placed laboratory mice that had recently copulated on a regimen of artificial daylight. Then they shifted the rodents' exposure to this light forward by 6 hours every 5 to 6 days—the equivalent of flying from Chicago to London. Four time shifts later, only 22% of the mice gave birth, compared with 90% in a control group. Mothers may have reabsorbed their pregnancies, or fertilized eggs might never have implanted, the team reports online today in PLoS ONE. The result fits with previous studies which found that mice with mutations in genes that regulate their circadian rhythms, the body's timekeeper, have irregular estrous cycles and more pregnancy failures. Shift workers and flight attendants, whose own body clocks are disrupted, also report increased miscarriages and menstrual changes. But there may be hope. When mice were clock-shifted backward rather than forward, the effect was less severe. So even if circadian changes lead to fertility problems in women, careful scheduling might limit the turbulence.
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