The University of Cambridge has released a study finding that viruses are more effective in the morning.
As Biology applicants will know, viruses rely on using human cells to replicate, and the composition of the cell changes over the course of a day. The researchers infected mice with influenza or herpes, and found that mice infected in the morning had ten times the viral levels of those infected in the evening.
The scientists found that late viruses were failing to inhabit the cell in the same way as early morning infections – Professor Akhilesh Reddy, one of the researchers, explained that “the virus needs all the apparatus available at the right time, otherwise it might not ever get off the ground, but a tiny infection might perpetuate faster and take over the body.”
HSPS and Medicine applicants should consider how this might make some demographics of the population more susceptible to disease than others, particularly shift workers who may have a disrupted body clock from working nights.