BOSTON, MA –- The daily rhythms of the body—once thought to be strictly governed by a master clock lodged in the brain—appear to be driven to a remarkable degree by tiny timepieces pocketed in organs all over the body. What‘s more, these peripheral timepieces appear to be strikingly idiosyncratic in appearance—more like Swatch watches than classic Timexes. Clocks located in the liver and heart appear to use very different sets of genes to perform essentially the same functions, researchers at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health report in the April 21 Nature online. The study, among the first to explore circadian time mechanisms outside the brain, could have a potentially broad impact on the burgeoning fields of circadian medicine and postgenomic science.
The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard Medical School. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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