Home / Healthcare/ ‘Biological clock’ scientists win 2017 Nobel Medicine Prize

‘Biological clock’ scientists win 2017 Nobel Medicine Prize


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 3 October 2017 00:00


The names of Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young are displayed during a news conference to announce the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2017, in Stockholm, Sweden 2 October 2017 - TT News Agency  via Reuters 

 

 

Stockholm (Reuters): US-born scientists Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling our biological clocks, the award-giving body said on Monday.

The mechanisms help explain issues such as why people traveling long distances over several time zones often suffer jet lag and they have wider implications for health such as increased risk for certain diseases.

“(The three scientists’) discoveries explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions,” the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said in a statement.

The laureates used fruit flies to isolate a gene that controls the normal daily biological rhythm and showed how this gene encoded a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night and degrades during the day.

“The clock regulates critical functions such as behavior, hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism,” the Assembly said on awarding the prize of 9 million Swedish crowns ($ 1.1 million).

Thomas Perlmann, secretary at the Karolinska Institute Nobel Committee, described the reaction of Rosbash when first informed of the award: “He was silent and then he said ‘you are kidding me’.”

Medicine is the first of the Nobel Prizes awarded each year. The prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were created in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel and have been awarded since 1901.

Nobel medicine laureates have included scientific greats such as Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, and Karl Landsteiner, whose identification of separate blood types opened the way to carrying out safe transfusions.

The prize has not been without controversy, especially with the benefit of hindsight, such as with 1948 award for the discovery of DDT, a chemical that helped battle epidemics but was later banned due to its harmful environmental impact.

 


Share This Article


COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Problem is not us women and booze: It’s paternalism and capriciousness in policymaking

Friday, 19 January 2018

The other day the President of Sri Lanka went public expressing his intention to revoke a ministerial order revoking the notion that a woman of any age has no more maturity than a youth less than eighteen years old.


MS-RW Unity Govt. must stay united for the sake of the country

Friday, 19 January 2018

A few days after the Unity Government celebrated its third anniversary, President Maithripala Sirisena asked the Supreme Court: “Whether


The joy of books! Cuddling up with a wish to explore

Thursday, 18 January 2018

I walked into a small communication shop to discover that you can buy almost anything from rubber seeds and tree leaves to bird feathers to support a student attending a school. I noted that all leaves are properly and accurately (hopefully!) identif


Wake up, drifting mega infrastructure development professionals!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Infrastructure investment is a key driver of a stronger and productive economy. Stakeholders, especially the public and the international funding agencies, demand greater transparency and scrutiny on infrastructure decision as the Government spend th


Columnists More