Nobel Prize for solving mystery of why humans sleep

'Sleep experts' win 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine for solving mystery of circadian rhythms.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

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Three ‘sleep scientists’ studying the human biological clock have won this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine.

Michael Young, Jeffery Hall, and Michael Rosbash were jointly awarded the prize for their work in studying circadian rhythms, a key element in the biological clock which regulates sleep patterns and affects everything from body temperature and metabolism to hormone levels.

The trio studied how circadian rhythms function on a molecular level, with research that touches upon more fundamental questions of why sleep is tied to a biological cycle, and how that cycle operates.

The researchers “were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings," the Nobel committee wrote, explaining “how plants, animals, and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the earth’s revolutions.”

As part of their work, the team isolated a gene responsible for regulating the daily biological rhythm of fruit flies. The team found that the gene in question encodes a protein which builds up in fruit fliy cells at night, and is depleted during the course of the day.


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