RoseTracker| Scientists now understand the circadian clock mechanism that controls the internal 24-hour clock of all forms of life from human cells to algae.
The researchers have confirmed that the current 24-hour circadian clock found in human cells dates back millions of years to early life on Earth.
Researchers from the Universities of Cambridge have identified 24-hour rhythms in red blood cells. The discovery is very important because until now scientists assumed that circadian rhythms are linked to DNA and gene activity. Red blood cewlls do not have DNA.
Meanwhile, researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge, and the Observatoire Oceanologique in Banyuls, France, have made the amazing discovery that the circadian clocks in algae are very similar to those in human cells. Surprisingly, when the algae were kept in darkness, their DNA was no longer active, but the algae kept their circadian clocks ticking without active genes.
This discovery syncs perfectly with findings of the circadian clock in red blood cells in humans.
Andrew Millar of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: “This groundbreaking research shows that body clocks are ancient mechanisms that have stayed with us through a billion years of evolution. They must be far more important and sophisticated than we previously realised. More work is needed to determine how and why these clocks developed in people — and most likely all other living things on earth — and what role they play in controlling our bodies.” via Science Daily