Biological Clocks – Nobel Prize For Medicine

Why in news?
  • The award is for their work in discovering the mechanisms controlling the internal clocks in living organisms.

What is their research about?
  • The trio’s work was in ‘Chrono Biology’ – A science that examines periodic phenomena in living organisms in relation to nature.
  • They made significant contributions in unravelling the genetic coding and protein pathways that regulate the circadian rhythm.
  • What were the acheievements of the trio?
  • Isolation of a gene called ‘Period’ in fruit-flies that disrupted its circadian clock was the most important acheivement.
  • PER – A protein named ‘PER’ that serves as a functional communicator for the ‘Period Gene’ was discovered.
  • Timeless – A second gene called ‘Timeless’ that acts through its ‘TIM protein’ in conjunction with ‘PER’ was also identified.
  • This was found to cause the seesawing of cellular protein levels.
  • What are the implications?
Source: The Hindu