One of the commonly used isoflurane anesthesia has been found to make bees have jet lag during the day. Guy Warman, a chronobiologist at the university of Auckland New Zealand reported that isoflurane anesthesia plays a role in the body rhythms as part of the biological clocks. This concept can be demonstrated by doing experiments on honey bees in surgical theatres representing patients. There was an online report by Warman and his colleagues in the proceedings of the national academy of sciences. The report that was made on the 16th April 2012 saying that night time anesthesia changes in phases with drug effects on body rhythm.
Analysis of the body rhythms for specific daily patterns is important in medicine according to Warman. He says that it is not advisable to make a general rule to perform all surgical operations at night in response to the research findings. The findings are instead driving his team to consider an alternative way of understanding surgery protocols by keeping the clock ticking normally.
The experiment that was designed by Warman and his team was aimed at bringing a lasting solution to the puzzle of recovery in surgical patients. Doctors were mixed between the understanding of what causes disorientation immediately upon waking up from operations and anesthesia effects. Reasons for fitful sleeping behavior of recovering patients could not be understood by these health care professionals. All these were found to revolve around the way biological clock was tickling as seen in bees. Molecular understanding of how the phenomenon works is in line with the clock genes of the insects.
A similar result was registered by researchers who were working on bees’ behavior. The subjects of study were trained on a common point for sugar solution. These insects were then anesthetized and allowed to be in a coma for some time. When they woke up from the effects, their motion were monitored and seen to deviate from the expected direction. Bees have a natural inbuilt instinct that allows them estimate direction of the sun by their biological clock. The findings revealed that the bees were responding to external influence of anesthesia. With bees, jet lag concept was apparent in this study as revealed by the findings.
Another test was conducted within the confines of the laboratory without outdoor cues for the activity patterns. Cycles from the study showed a delay in activity of clock gene after being treated with night time anesthesia. Response of bees when subjected to different concentrations of the chemical anesthesia by research is what Matthias Eikermann was concerned about. The worker at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston is trying to project what the repercussions would be for the bees when the anesthesia is altered. This idea is to be useful in determination of the component of insect physiology that is affected by anesthesia.
Research on bees was better confounded as a worthy research step before the ultimate decision to start working on real humans. This was in line with the control of all the factors in studies using bees as subjects as opposed to clinical trials in humans according to Nancy Chamberlin. She is a neurobiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She talks of these results as being a reason for difficulty in using human studies for analysis of clinical trials.