Four lectures highlight the research of two scientists who have made groundbreaking discoveries elucidating the molecular basis of circadian clocksthe internal timekeepers that govern fluctuations in behavior and physiology on a 24-hour cycle. Michael Rosbash, Ph.D., and Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D., explain what circadian clocks are, how they work, and what relevance this knowledge might have for human health.
Dr. Rosbash is an HHMI investigator, professor of biology at Brandeis University, and adjunct professor of molecular biology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Takahashi is an HHMI investigator, Walter and Mary Elizabeth Glass Professor of Neurobiology and Physiology at Northwestern University, and professor of neurology at Northwestern University Medical School.
View the on-demand webcast of the lecture series.
Teacher's Guide (PDF)
Introducing the new Virtual Transgenic Fly Lab. The lab will familiarize you with the science and techniques used to make transgenic flies. Transgenic organisms, which contain DNA that is inserted experimentally, are used to study many biological processes. In this lab, you will create a transgenic fly to study circadian rhythms. The fly glows only when a certain gene involved in circadian rhythms is activated. After making the glowing fly, you will use it to explore basic principles of circadian biology and genetics. Enter the lab...
Time Matters: Biological Clockworksan online exhibit in BioInteractive's Virtual Museum
Who's Who in Clock Research
How does sunlight reset the body's biological clock? HHMI investigator King-Wai Yau's research team has traced the neural circuitry of a "second sight" system that transmits day/night information from the eye to the brain's circadian control center. Read on...
How does the brain's circadian clock communicate with the rest of the organism? HHMI investigator Amita Sehgal's research team has identified a gene that plays an important role in communicating crucial information about the circadian clock to other parts of the body. Read on...
A research team that includes HHMI investigator Louis J. Ptacek has identified the first human gene that controls circadian rhythms. Read on...
Learn about other research into biological clocks being conducted by HHMI-funded scientists. Read on...
Is There a Clock in Your Head?
Internal clocks keep pace with the 24-hour cycle of day and night and light and dark, enabling organisms to adapt their behavior accordingly. Whether these dailyor circadianrhythms help a single-celled organism anticipate the first rays of morning light or a rodent prepare for a busy night foraging for food, they are a universal feature of life on Earth.
Wonder how salmon know that it is time to spawn, what tells squirrels and hamsters to get ready to hibernate, or why so many teenagers fall asleep at their desks in school?
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