Control of the internal clock of all forms of life


30/01/2011

Scientists have studied the mechanism by which controlled the internal clock of all forms of life from human cells to algae.

This study has not only better understand the nature of the problems that occur in people with downed inside the cycle, such as pilots and night-shift workers, but also revealed that daily internal clock in the cells of humans and other living beings are identical, and have millions of years ago at the beginning of the origin of life on Earth.

Two new studies published in the journal Nature, which had Cambridge and Edinburgh universities, shed light on the circadian rhythms that control the daily and seasonal activity, from sleep-wake cycles to migrating butterflies.

The research institute metabolism at the University of Kembridskom allowed for the first time to establish the existence of circadian rhythms in red blood cells. This was a significant discovery because earlier circadian rhythms linked to DNA or gene activity, but unlike other cells in the body, in the red blood cells not DNA.

Akhilesh Reddy of Cambridge University, who is the lead author of the study, said: "We know that clocks exist in all our cells, a built-in mechanism. Imagine what it would be if it did not exist. Cells would not change its position, if a watch is not coordinated their daily behavior. "

"The influence of circadian rhythms on human health is difficult to overestimate. We know that downed hours caused by, for example, shift work or flight across time zones can cause metabolic diseases, including diabetes, mental disorders, and even cancer."

Andrew Millar of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, who led the study, said: "This is a revolutionary research shows that the internal clock - is an ancient mechanism that is present in nature for billions of years of evolution. They play a much more important role, and are arranged more complicated than we expected earlier. More research is needed to understand how these clocks have evolved in humans and all other living creatures on earth, and what role they play in the management of our bodies. "


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