The biological clock controls the circadian rhythms of a wide range of physiological and behavioral processes, from fluctuating hormone levels to sleep–wake cycles and feeding patterns. While its well known that circadian clock elements sense and respond to light cycles, much less is known about how daily temperature cycles affect the clocks timing mechanism in vertebrates. In the open-access journal PLoS Biology, Kajori Lahiri, Nicholas Foulkes, and their colleagues study temperature related responses at the genetic and molecular level in zebrafish. This genetically tractable model organism is especially suited to this task because adults, larvae, and even embryos can tolerate a wide range of core body temperatures (being cold-blooded animals) that can be manipulated simply by changing the water temperature. Temperature variations of as little as 2 ºC (35.6 ºF) can reset the zebrafish clock, Lahiri et al. show, and precise shifts in temperature trigger significant changes in the expression of specific clock genes. More explicitly, clock genes per4, cry2a, cry3, and clock1 showed rhythmic expression under temperature cycles when animals were raised in the dark, and the expression profiles during the high temperature phase matched those seen during a light phase when animals experienced light-dark cycles.
Zebrafish cell lines also proved valuable tools for studying temperature response, showing a similar pattern of clock gene expression during cycles of small temperature changes and continued entrainment of clock gene expression even after the cells were exposed to constant temperature. Acute temperature shifts can also trigger significant changes in clock gene expression (transcript levels of per4 and cry3 dropped after a temperature increase and spiked after a temperature decrease; cry2 showed the opposite response)--changes wrought by temperature-dependent shifts in the behavior of transcriptional regulators, as in the case of per4.
Altogether these results show that temperature can regulate the circadian clock in this vertebrate. If the temperature-induced transcriptional responses described here operate in other temperature-related responses, they may shed light on how temperature affects other biological systems as well, including mammals.
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23.10.2017 | Penn State
Key discoveries offer significant hope of reversing antibiotic resistance
23.10.2017 | University of Bristol
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
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Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
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