"Biological clock" scientists bag the 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine

ANI | Updated: Oct 02, 2017 19:01 IST

Stockholm [Sweden], Oct 2 (ANI): The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2017 was awarded to three scientists Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young "for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm" or the biological clock.

It is well known that living organisms, including humans, have an internal, biological clock that helps them anticipate and adapt to the regular rhythm of the day.

These three U.S. scientists have unravelled the mystery as to how our internal circadian biological clock works.

The researchers "were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings", according to the Nobel committee's citation.

The biological clock is involved in many aspects of our complex physiology with implications for our "health and wellbeing."

Our biological clock helps to regulate sleep patterns, feeding behaviour, hormone release, blood pressure, body temperature, alertness, Cortisol level, coordination, reaction time and Melatonin secretion, according to the citation.

They show why disturbed sleep - like in the case of jet lag, or people with insomnia - can have terrifying knock-on consequences, like an increased risk of various diseases.

The term ' circadian rhythm' , originated from the Latin words circa meaning "around" and dies meaning "day".

Secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine Professor Thomas Perlmann announced the 2017 Nobel Prize in this domain.

108 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine have been awarded till date since 1901.

So far, 39 Medicine Prizes have been given to one Laureate only, 32 have been shared by two Laureates and 36 Medicine Prizes have been shared among three Laureates.(ANI)