Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Removing the clock gene BMAL1 makes bacteria-engulfing defence cells in the body more effective, a new study from the Radcliffe Department of Medicine has found.

This is the first time a clock gene has been found to affect resistance to bacterial pneumonia, a fatal disease responsible for 5% of all deaths in the UK each year. (The main image depicts a a computer-generated image of a group of Gram-positive, Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, one of the bacteria types that cause the disease. Image credit: CDC PHIL). 

Most living things have an internal body clock which regulates when they sleep and when they wake up. A complex set of genes turning on and off, make this body clock run over roughly 24 hours, and a gene known by the acronym BMAL1 is one of the master regulators of this clock, controlling many other body clock genes and pathways.

Read more (Radcliffe Department of Medicine)

This research is also featured in a The Conversation article.

Similar stories

Prestigious award for Oxford professor's diabetes work

A University of Oxford professor has been awarded the 2021 EASD-Novo Nordisk Foundation Prize for Excellence for his decades of effort to understand, prevent and combat type 1 diabetes.

Wellcome accolades for Dr Douglas

Dr Alexander (Sandy) Douglas, an investigator at the Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, has recently received two prestigious Wellcome accolades.

FOCUS4: a flagship trial in colorectal cancer

Professor Tim Maughan (Department of Oncology) outlines the flagship work of the FOCUS4 trials, whose results were presented last weekend at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) annual meeting

Oxford and Oracle partner to speed identification of COVID-19 variants

The fast spread of the highly infectious Delta variant underscores the need for faster identification of COVID-19 mutations. Uniting governments and medical communities in this challenge, the University of Oxford and Oracle’s Global Pathogen Analysis System (GPAS) is now being used by organizations on nearly every continent. Institutions using the platform include: the University of Montreal Hospital Centre Research Centre, the Institute of Public Health Research of Chile, the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam, the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research – New South Wales Pathology, and Oxford Nanopore Technologies. GPAS is also now part of the Public Health England New Variant Assessment Platform.

Vaccinated groups at highest risk of Covid-19 hospitalisation and death identified using new QCovid tool

Researchers from the University of Oxford have today reported on findings on the vaccinated people who are at greatest risk from severe Covid-19 leading to hospitalisation or death from 14 days post the second dose vaccination, when substantial immunity should be expected.