Season of birth affects circadian clock

07 Dec
At least in mice, season of birth seems to imprint behavioral cue, affecting the circadian clock (internal time schedule). Some of the effects are notoriously similar to some disorders observed in humans, suggesting that the effect may be extensive to our species (not so distant from mice anyhow). 
A maybe more easy to comprehend press release is available at Science Daily.
The effects of the environment on the expression of our genes seems to be quite extensive. While we still know too little, there is some steady advance in this most intriguing research field.
While the principal finding is technically limited to the circadian clock its overall effects may be more ample. Co-researcher Douglas McMahon explained that:

We know that the biological clock regulates mood in humans. If an imprinting mechanism similar to the one that we found in mice operates in humans, then it could not only have an effect on a number of behavioral disorders but also have a more general effect on personality.

While it seems easy to compare with simple Astrology, McMahon warns:

It’s important to emphasize that, even though this sounds a bit like astrology, it is not: it’s seasonal biology!
Well… whatever. What matters is that there is empirical evidence for a quantifiable imprinting effect of psycho-biological effect that is determined by season of birth, and that the extent of this environmental modulation may well extend to all the psyche, affecting the personality. 
But if this happens and exactly how is yet to be researched.

Posted by on December 7, 2010 in biology, epigenetics, Genetics, psychology


3 responses to “Season of birth affects circadian clock

  1. terryt

    December 8, 2010 at 8:23 am

    "While it seems easy to compare with simple Astrology, McMahon warns: It's important to emphasize that, even though this sounds a bit like astrology, it is not: it's seasonal biology!" Very temptingto compare it though. I've long thought that if there is anything in astrology it may be more to do with the time of year the individual is born. It should be six months out for the southern hemishere though. Mind you I'm far from convinced that astrology has any basis whatsoever. I told a woman friend my wrong birthday once years ago, as an experiment. She became so convinced I fitted my fake star sign that I've never been able to convince her of my real star sign. The reason for my experiment was that my brother had done the same thing, with much the same result.

  2. Tania Gálvez San José

    December 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Hola, soy Tania, la entrevistadora de Daniele Ganser del video. ¿Podrías darme más información sobre lo publicado en Interviú y el año o el nombre del periodista. Yo lo único que he encontrado es un Informe Semanal de 1990. Gracias y un saludo.

  3. Maju

    December 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Tania: te he respondido por email. Por cierto que menciono tu entrevista-documental en mi otro blog:…Casual reader: we are discussing offtopic the secret armies of NATO a most interesting documentary-interview by Tania to historian D. Ganser (follow the link above if interested – it's in English).


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