Home » Deciphering the Biological Clock: An Interview with Nobel Prize Winner Michael Rosbash

Deciphering the Biological Clock: An Interview with Nobel Prize Winner Michael Rosbash

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Deciphering the Biological Clock: An Interview with Nobel Prize Winner Michael Rosbash

Geneticist and chronobiologist Michael Rosbash, who shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2017 for his work on circadian rhythms, recently gave a lecture to young researchers in Madrid, Spain. During his talk, Rosbash revealed that new research has shown that at least 70% of our genes are regulated by circadian rhythms, up from the previous figure of 50%.

Rosbash’s interest in chronobiology began almost fifty years ago when he started collaborating with his friend and fellow Nobel Prize winner Jeffrey C. Hall. Their work has largely focused on the circadian rhythms of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the genetic and molecular mechanisms that control these rhythms.

Rosbash emphasized the importance of public funding for basic research, noting that it forms the foundation for applied research. He also highlighted the impact of electric light on circadian rhythms, noting that excessive exposure to light at night and insufficient exposure to natural light during the day can disrupt our internal clocks.

When asked about the potentially carcinogenic effects of working night shifts, Rosbash suggested that individuals could adjust their routines to simulate a daytime schedule, but acknowledged the challenges of doing so.

Overall, Rosbash’s work has shed light on the intricate biological mechanisms that govern our daily rhythms and behavior, providing valuable insights into the potential health impacts of modern lifestyle factors such as artificial light and irregular sleep patterns.

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