Don't Hurt Yourself at Night

According to a recent study by cell biologist John O’Neill of MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (published in Science Translational Medicine), the time of day your skin gets injured may impact how long it takes to heal.  He says that every cell in our bodies has a biological clock, including fibroblast skin cells which are important since they need to move into a wound to repair it.  Cells that move, such as fibroblasts, are particularly affected by the biological clock.  The study showed that fibroblasts moved twice as fast during the day compared to the night.  They were interested to see how this laboratory experiment translated to real life wounds.  They then compared their results to a database of burn wounds and saw that burn wounds occurring at night took an average of 28 days to heal, while those occurring during the day took an average of 17 days to heal.  Although there may be many other factors contributing to these results, it will be very interesting to see if these results hold true in future studies.