The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology announced that a Korean research team has found a new gene responsible for maintaining the bio-clock (twenty-four) and its mechanism.
Twnety-four was led by Professor Choi Joon Ho and Dr. Lee Jong Bin of KAIST (department of Biology) and was a joint operation with Professor Ravi Allada and Dr.Lim Jeong Hoon of Northwestern University (department of neurobiology) and the result was published in ‘Nature’ magazine.
The research team experimented with transformed small fruit flies for 4 years and found that there was an undiscovered gene that deals with the bio rhythm in the brain which they named ‘twenty-four’.
The understanding with genes prior to twenty-four was that these genes regulate biorhythm in the transcription phase (DNA to mRNA). Twenty-four operates in the step after transcription when the ribosome creates proteins. Especially twenty-four has a great effect on the ‘period protein’ which acts as a sub-atomic clock that regulates the rhythm and life of each cell.
The experiment was innovational in that it was able to scientifically prove the function of the protein produced by the gene.
The result is expected to help solve the problems associated with sleep disorders, jetlags, eating rhythms, bio rhythms, etc.
The name twenty-four was the fact that a day, a cycle, is 24 hours long and the gene’s serial numbers CG4857 adds up to twenty four.
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