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Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology

Eva Ricci, Chief Editor

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Last month, the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology was awarded to scientists Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young. The trio were able to make a monumental discovery about the function of biological rhythms in accordance with the rotation of the Earth.

Often called our “inner clock” or “biological clock”, scientists have been interested in why organisms can adapt to different changes during the day, especially the fluctuations that occur during the day and night. Using fruit flies, Hall, Rosbash, and Young “isolated a gene that controls the normal daily biological rhythm. They showed that this gene encodes a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night, and is then degraded during the day” (The Nobel Prize).

Why was this prize won and what makes it such important information? Well, according to a man named Sir Paul, director of the group who researched circadian rhythms in 2001, “It’s important for the basic understanding of life. Every living organism on this planet responds to the sun. All plant and also animal behavior is determined by the light-dark cycle. We on this planet are slaves to the sun. The circadian clock is embedded in our mechanisms of working, our metabolism, it’s embedded everywhere, it’s a real core feature for understanding life.”

This information is helpful to people’s health and well being. According to The Guardian, “When there is a mismatch between this internal ‘clock’ and the external surroundings, it can affect the organism’s well being – for example, in humans, when we experience jet lag.” There has been some research done that shows evidence of circadian rhythms affecting treatment progress for certain diseases.

Two of the winners of the Nobel Prize are professors at prestigious universities in Massachusetts. Jeffrey C. Hall is Professor Emeritus of Biology at Brandeis University and currently resides in Cambridge, Maine. Michael Morris Rosbash is an American geneticist and chronologist. Rosbash is a professor at Brandeis University and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Michael W. Young attended the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Source:

https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2017/press.html

https://www.theguardian.com/science/live/2017/oct/02/the-2017-nobel-prize-in-physiology-or-medicine-live

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Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology