Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Trio win Nobel prize for 'body clock' discovery

Scientists Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young isolated gene that regulates sleep patterns

    Thomas Perlmann, from the Nobel Committee, announces this year's three winners of the Nobel Prize for Medicine
    Thomas Perlmann, from the Nobel Committee, announces this year's three winners of the Nobel Prize for Medicine Getty Images

    Three American scientists have won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their discoveries about the body's daily rhythms.

    Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young won the nine million kronor (£820,000) prize for isolating a gene that controls the body’s daily rhythm.

    These biological inner clocks regulate critical functions such as sleep, behaviour, hormone levels and body temperature.

    Professor Rosbash, 74, is on the faculty at Brandeis University. His parents were immigrants from Nazi Germany and his father was a cantor. Thomas Perlmann, secretary at the Karolinska Institute Nobel Committee said that when he told Rosbash about the award, “He was silent and then he said ‘you are kidding me’.”

    Dr Young is based at Rockefeller University, while Professor Hall is at the University of Maine.

    The Nobel committee’s citation said the three scientists “were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings.

    “Their discoveries explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth's revolutions.”

    Other researchers have found that not just humans, but animals and plants have a biological clock that helps to prepare our physiology for the fluctuations of the day.

    This regular adaptation is referred to as the circadian rhythm.

Israel

How Israel stole Iran's nuclear secrets

Michael Daventry

Thursday, May 3, 2018

How Israel stole Iran's nuclear secrets
World

Saudi crown prince suggests Jews have a right to land

Michael Daventry

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Saudi crown prince suggests Jews have a right to land
World

BDS movement nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Michael Daventry

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

BDS movement nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Israel

Israeli Labour Party suspends ties with Corbyn

Michael Daventry

Anshel Pfeffer

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Israeli Labour Party suspends ties with Corbyn
Analysis

Prince William's visit will delight and offend

Michael Daventry

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Prince William's visit will delight and offend
World

Compensation for Algerian Holocaust victims

Michael Daventry

Monday, February 5, 2018

Compensation for Algerian Holocaust victims
Blogs

Is Israel behind Syria attacks?

The JC Comment Blog

Michael Daventry

Monday, April 9, 2018

Is Israel behind Syria attacks?
US News

Thousands at funerals for Florida shooting victims

Michael Daventry

Monday, February 19, 2018

Thousands at funerals for Florida shooting victims
World

Hamas leader Haniyeh on US blacklist

Michael Daventry

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hamas leader Haniyeh on US blacklist