In 1998, scientists found the mammalian version of a gene, known as timeless, which in flies is crucial for the biological clock. However, all but one of the research groups involved determined that timeless did not have such a role in mammals. Now that research group says timeless is indeed a key timekeeper in mammals.
In a new complex molecular study of rats, published in the Oct. 17 issue of Science, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign blocked the functional ability of timeless, leaving the circadian clock in disarray.
The key difference between the previous studies and this new one was the identification of two timeless proteins -- one a full-length protein and the other a shorter, incomplete version.
Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
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