A key role in synchronizing daily rhythms to the day/night cycle has been traced to a light-sensitive protein in the eye, by knocking out the gene that codes for it. Mice lacking a gene for the photopigment melanopsin show a dramatic deficiency in their ability to regulate their circadian rhythms by light. The discovery, by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) grantees, helps unravel the heretofore elusive mechanisms by which day/night cycles regulate such rhythms in mammals. NIMH grantees Ignacio Provencio, Ph.D., Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), and Steve Kay, Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute, and colleagues report on their findings in the December 13 Science.*
In a similar knockout mouse study reported in the same issue of Science, another research team, led by NIMH grantee Norman Ruby, Ph.D., Stanford University, also found melanopsin to be a "significant contributor" to circadian function.**
Each day, a clock in the brains hypothalamus that governs daily rhythms – sleeping/waking, body temperature, eating, arousal. -- is reset by light detected in the eyes. Yet, how this works has been a mystery. Light can still reset the clock even if the rods and cones, the photoreceptors in the retina for vision, are removed, but not if the eyes are removed. Hence, scientists have hypothesized that the eyes must contain a system of photoreceptors for resetting the clock that is separate from the system for sight.
Jules Asher | EurekAlert!
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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