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The origin of biological clocks

The evolutionary story of circadian rhythms is under scrutiny

By
1:00pm, July 14, 2015
circadian clocks

LIFE'S CYCLES  Throughout the human body, circadian clocks keep activities running on a daily schedule of day and night. New work is shedding light on the origin and evolution of biological clocks.

The Earth has rhythm. Every 24 hours, the planet pirouettes on its axis, bathing its surface alternately in sunlight and darkness.

Organisms from algae to people have evolved to keep time with the planet’s light/dark beat. They do so using the world’s most important timekeepers: daily, or circadian, clocks that allow organisms to schedule their days so as not to be caught off guard by sunrise and sunset.

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