Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: One small step for a jetlagged mouse...

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Sleepy little mouse. Photo / Thinkstock
Sleepy little mouse. Photo / Thinkstock

One small step for a jetlagged mouse ... Bleary eyes and timezone-whacked, bleary minds could be a thing of the past. Researchers at Oxford University are developing a pill that will alleviate the effects of jetlag.

This is no herbal, feel-good thing. Testing involved injecting a small interfering RNA (described by an Independent journalist with a better brain for science than me as "a tiny strand of genetic material that can interfere with the function of a gene") into mice that had been exposed to irregular patterns of light. What fun.

The mice were better able to adjust their altered body clocks back to normal. It's still a few years away from human use, but this research could lead to the development of a pill that - in theory - will help us get our own circadian clocks in order after long-haul travel.

("Drink lots of water," they say. Which is kind of obvious, really - drinking lots of water is good for anything except preventing drowning.)

My normal response to jetlag - yawning through a few days at work and falling asleep on the sofa in the early evening with half a glass of red wine in my hand and a little pinot dribbling out the side of my mouth - has served me well for years. But I'm all for better living through science, so bring on the magic jetlag pill.

- NZ Herald

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Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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