Or maybe it’ll make your pet rat check into rehab. As it turns out, disruptions to your body clock can make you as batshit crazy as we all suspected. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center psychiatrists did experiments with cute fuzzy little rats; first making them into annoying little tweakers, then mutating them to gauge body clock disturbances and the effects on their usually sunny outlooks on life. I had kind of hoped they’d given the rats too much coffee and cupcakes and then flew them to Rio for long nights with expensive tranny hookers, but despite the scientists’ refusal to heed my personal suggestions for appropriate guidelines on the topic (much to the rodents’ disappointment), the results were fascinating. Snip:
(…) instead of injecting speed into the mice, McClung and several colleagues tested mutant mice, with a single-point mutation in the so-called Clock gene, which helps control the body’s circadian rhythms: waking, sleeping and eating times as well as the maintenance of proper body temperature, heart and blood functions, and hormone levels. The researchers studied the mutant mice in several different situations to determine the behavioral impact of the missing genetic component. Their goal was to try to understand what happens during mania in the hope of coming up with successful new treatments.
Their findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: the flawed Clock gene induced a manic state in mice that had a profile similar to that of humans suffering from bipolar disorder or manic depression, a condition during which a person cycles from deep depression to manic behavior.