25 Jul Molecular Mechanics of “Body Clock” in our Chemistry Tuition
It can be tough for you to sleep in on the weekend on you get up at a specific time every day. This happens because of the working principle of your body clock which wakes you up at the same time on which you usually wake to get out for your work or school. You may experience another side effect of body clock when you fly overseas into another country having a different time zone, that is commonly known to us as jet lag. Just a few years back in 2017, a team of three scientists claim the Nobel Prize in Physiology, for exploration of the human internal body clock and its workings.
Chronobiology is the term used to describe the study of internal biological clocks. Three scientists from the United States decided to explore this field, and they investigate why and how the internal body clock concept works. What effect does the circadian cycle leave on our health? How is our sleep patterns influenced?
The Modular and Genetic Roots
For revealing the mechanics behind the human body clock, Michael Rosbash, Michael Young, and Jeffrey Hall worked tirelessly. They found a gene that regulated bio-rhythms in fruit flies in the mid-1980s and over the course of the years they expanded their research which showed more and more of the entire system. The genes fell out like puzzle pieces and the way they work together provide a beautiful mechanism which is now appreciated all over. Because of the modern scientific tools, the three researchers went down to the molecular level and explored how animals, humans and plants can actually anticipate night or day and control their biological responses accordingly.
The 2017 Nobel Prize
The three scientists because of their unfolding research earned the Nobel Prize. They were thrilled and shocked because of the great honour and in because of the size of the prize which is around about $1.1 million. The discovery of these scientists is still in the ground level, they have unravelled the basics of the molecular mechanics for body clocks, but then what is yet to be done is the practical applications of the discovery. With this new study of how circadian cycles and rhythms work, scientists may be able to figure out new ways to help people with sleep issues like insomnia and others. They may be able to figure out how to minimise the effects of jet lag. The researchers hope to discover how wilfully ignoring the body clock may affect a person’s health in the long term.
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