Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young were recognised for their discoveries explaining “how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earth’s revolutions.”
The team identified a gene within fruit flies that controls the creatures’ daily rhythm, known as the “period” gene. This gene encodes a protein within the cell during the night which then degrades during the day.
When there is a mismatch between this internal “clock” and the external surroundings, it can affect the organism’s wellbeing – for example, in humans, when we experience jet lag.
The announcement was met by disbelief by the winners. “You are kidding me,” Rosbash replied when he got the call. Hall’s reaction was similar: “I said, ‘is this a prank?’” he told the Guardian.
The Guardian - All you need to know about circadian rhythms HERE
I find this fascinating, because I think this also stretches beyond daily cycles and into seasons/years. Hence people's problems with Seasonal Adjustment Disorder, or being reactive to anniversaries that isn't just because of the date, but of the time of year etc. Not sure if their would be a Seasonal Reactive gene, but would be fascinated to know if this is possible