London: The light bulb may have been a boon bestowed by Thomas Edison, but he would never have imagined its contribution to the global obesity epidemic. By allowing us to work, rest and play round-the-clock, the bulb has also caused disruption of circadian rhythms and caused obesity.Circadian rhythms include the sleep-wake cycle. Rhythms in hormone release are controlled by a molecular clock present in every cell of the body, which has its own inbuilt, default rhythm of almost exactly 24 hours that allows it to stay finely tuned to the daily cycle generated by the rotation of Earth.This beautiful symmetry between the human clock and the daily cycle of Earth`s rotation is disrupted by exposure to artificial light cycles, by irregular meals and work and sleep times. This mismatch is called "circadian desynchrony", the journal "Bioessays" reports.Cathy Wyse, author of the research paper and chronobiologist at the University of Aberdeen, focuses on how the human clock struggles to stay in tune with the irregular meal, sleep and work schedules of the developed world, and how this might influence health and even cause obesity."Electric light allowed humans to override an ancient synchronization between the rhythm of the human clock and the environment, and over the last century, daily rhythms in meal, sleep and working times have gradually disappeared from our lives," said Wyse.
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