On Monday, three Americans have been awarded with Noble Prize in physiology/medicine on their discoveries on body’s daily rhythms.
Noble Prize awards were given to Jeffery C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young where Robash is on faculty at Brandeis University, Young at Rockefeller University and Hall is associated with University of Maine.
As per the citation of 1.1 million prize, these researchers isolated a gene which was able to control the normal daily biological rhythm. They “were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings.”
The Circadian rhythms adapted working of body into different phases of the day which influenced sleep, behavior, hormone levels, body temperature along with metabolism.
Juleen Zierath at the Nobel academy said that the winner laid emphasis on ‘awareness of the importance of a proper sleep hygiene”.
Back in 1984, when Robash and Hall along with young isolated the period gene in fruit flies. They found that a protein encoded by the gene was accumulated at night time which degraded during the daytime. Then after 10 years, Young discovered another ‘clock gene’.
“The paradigm-shifting discoveries by the laureates established key mechanisms for the biological clock,” the Nobel Assembly said in its prize statement.
The statement also said, “Our wellbeing is affected when there is a temporary mismatch between our external environment and this internal biological clock, for example when we travel across several time zones and experience ‘jet lag. There are also indications that chronic misalignment between our lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by our inner time keeper is associated with increased risk for various diseases.”
It was also quoted by the Swedish news agency TT that he received a call about award just after 5 a.m.
He mentioned, “I’m still shocked. I’m sitting here in my pajamas with my wife. I hadn’t even had a thought about this. I haven’t spoken with my colleagues yet. I haven’t even had time to have a cup of coffee.”