US biology trio wins Nobel Medicine Prize

 

This year’s Nobel Medicine Prize went to US geneticists Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young for their discoveries on how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earth’s revolutions. The award was announced by the Nobel Assembly.

For many years, scientists have known that living organisms, including humans, have an internal clock that help them adapt to the rotation of earth. The clock influences such biological functions as hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism. It is what causes jetlag — when the internal clock and external environment move out of sync when we change time zones.

Using the fruit fly as a model organism, the scientists isolated a gene that controls the daily biological rhythm.

The trio will share the prize sum of nine million Swedish kronor (about 1.1 million US Dollars.)