Jetlag makes us acutely aware of our internal clocks. But what are these clocks made of? And how do they work? Pioneering studies using fruitflies identified a set of clock genes that control daily rhythms. Discovering these fly genes then helped identify a similar set of clock genes in humans – and altered versions of these genes explain some sleep disorders. Most of our organs have their own internal clocks, which has profound implications for humanity, ranging from the timing of meals and drug treatments to how we design our homes and workplaces and even public policy.
Justin Blau, Professor of Biology and Neural Science and Chair, Department of Biology, NYU; Affiliated Faculty, NYUAD
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