Scientists have developed a drug that can manipulate the body clocks of mice—opening up the possibilities of treating such wide-ranging disorders as jet lag, manic depression, and obesity. The drug, developed by a team of British and American scientists, can adjust the circadian rhythms of mice by altering a key enzyme named casein kinase 1. Previous circadian therapies, such as taking the hormone melatonin, have only indirect influence on the body's timekeeper.
"Up until now we haven't had any drug that plays with the core clock itself," one of the scientists tells the Telegraph. The new drug can reset the circadian clock of a mouse to a desired hour, meaning that a human version could be used by jetlagged passengers, shift workers or insomniacs to re-align their sleep patterns. The drugs could also help treat other disorders, like manic-depression and obesity, which have a circadian component.