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2011 Archives

Researchers identify structure of circadian clock protein

Excerpt

The following to the PhysOrg.com science site on Nov. 15, 2011. Brian Zoltowski, chemistry professor, provided expertise for this story.

November 17, 2011

By Krishna Ramanujan

Cornell researchers have identified for the first time the 3-D crystal structure of a protein in fruit flies (Drosophila) that also facilitates circadian rhythm functions in most higher organisms -- from cyanobacteria and plants to animals, including humans.

The study appears in the Nov. 13 issue of the journal Nature.

While the mechanisms of circadian -- or biological -- clocks are complex in humans, many of their key components are shared by such lower species as Drosophila, which serve as a model organism for understanding circadian rhythms....

Brian Zoltowski, Ph.D. '08, currently an assistant professor at Southern Methodist University, is the paper's lead author.