U.S.’body clock’ scientists won the 2017 Nobel prize for medicine

Brandeis University President Ronald Liebowitz (L) talks to 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine co-winner Michael Rosbash, a professor at Brandeis, at the university in Waltham, Massachusetts, U.S., October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Vastavam web: U.S. scientists Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young won the 2017 Nobel prize for medicine on Monday for unraveling molecular mechanisms that control our internal body clocks.These help explain how people experience jet lag when their internal circadian rhythms get out of sync, while also having wider implications for disorders ranging from insomnia to depression to heart disease.Today scientists are exploring novel approaches to new treatments based on such circadian cycles, including establishing the best times to take medicines, and there is an increased focus on the importance of healthy sleeping patterns.
“This ability to prepare for the regular daily fluctuations is crucial for all life forms,” Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Karolinska Institute Nobel Committee, told.Rosbash said the news that the trio had won the Nobel prize, which is worth 9 million Swedish crowns ($1.1 million), was “a little overwhelming”.“It took my breath away, literally. I was woken up out of deep sleep and it was shocking,” he told.
Scientists were already pondering the concept of body clock genes in the 1960s and 1970s.Then in the mid-1980s the three laureates used fruit flies to isolate a gene that controls the normal daily biological rhythm and showed how it encodes a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night and degrades during the day.
“We are learning more and more what impact it has to not follow your clock,” Nobel committee member Christer Hoog told Reuters. “If you constantly disobey your clock, what will happen? Medical research is going on with regards to that.”Medicine is the first of the Nobel Prizes awarded each year. The prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were created in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel and have been awarded since 1901.