Mammals, fruit flies: same biological clock

Mar 06, 2006

New York University and University of London scientists say they've found more evidence that mammals and fruit flies share a common genetic makeup.

Drosophila fruit flies are commonly used for research on biological, or circadian, clocks because of the relative ease of finding mutants with non-24-hour rhythms and then identifying the genes underlying the altered behavior.

The NYU and London studies of fruit flies have allowed the identification of "clock genes" in mammals, which function in a similar manner in mammals as they do in a fly's clock. However, prior to the study, biologists had concluded that the role of one protein -- Cryptochrome, called Cry -- was quite different between flies and mammals.

In fruit flies, Cry is a circadian photoreceptor, which helps light reset the biological clock with changing seasons. In mammals, however, Cry assists in the 24-hour rhythmic expression of clock genes and has nothing to do with re-setting the clock.

The study appears in the latest issue of Current Biology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Hyperbolic homogeneous polynomials, oh my!

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

For resetting circadian rhythms, neural cooperation is key

Apr 17, 2014

Fruit flies are pretty predictable when it comes to scheduling their days, with peaks of activity at dawn and dusk and rest times in between. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports on April 17th h ...

Does germ plasm accelerate evolution?

Apr 14, 2014

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have published research in the leading academic journal Science that challenges a long held belief about the way certain species of vertebrates evolved.

Recommended for you

Hyperbolic homogeneous polynomials, oh my!

6 minutes ago

Cutting-edge mathematics today, at least to the uninitiated, often sounds as if it bears no relation to the arithmetic we all learned in grade school. What do topology and combinatorics and n-dimensional ...

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

5 hours ago

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Apr 19, 2014

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...

NASA's MMS observatories stacked for testing

(Phys.org) —Engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., accomplished another first. Using a large overhead crane, they mated two Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, observatories – ...