Scientists Map Wiring of Biological Clock
The World Health Organization lists shift work as a potential carcinogen, says Erik Herzog, professor of biology in arts & sciences at Washington Univ. in St. Louis. And that’s just one example among many of the troubles we cause ourselves when we override the biological clocks in our brains and pay attention instead to the mechanical clocks on our wrists.
In Neuron, Herzog and his colleagues report the discovery of a crucial part of the biological clock: the wiring that sets its accuracy to within a few minutes out of the 1,440 minutes per day. This wiring uses the neurotransmitter, GABA, to connect the individual cells of the biological clock in a fast network that changes strength with time of day.
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