Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three American scientists for decoding the human body’s biological clock! Discoveries in molecular mechanisms and their impact on health revealed.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine honored three American scientists, Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young, for their groundbreaking work in unveiling the mechanisms controlling the human body’s biological clock (circadian rhythm). This significant discovery was recognized for its profound impact on understanding how our bodies’ daily cycles, such as sleep patterns, influence behaviors and physical functions.

A Clock in Every Cell

The human body, like plants and animals, has a biological clock in each of its cells. This clock affects various aspects of our daily lives, ranging from mood and hormone levels to body temperature and metabolism. The increased risk of heart attack during early morning hours, as our bodies warm up, underscores the vital importance of this rhythm.

The Working Principles of the Molecular Clock

Jeffrey Hall and Michael Rosbash uncovered the role of a gene named the period gene in regulating circadian rhythms. This gene orchestrates the production of a protein named PER. Michael Young discovered two additional genes, termed “timeless” and “doubletime,” which influence the stability of PER protein levels, thereby adjusting the speed of our biological clock. The more stable the PER levels, the slower the body clock operates.

Applications and Future Research

These findings pave the way for a better understanding of the health implications of different work schedules, such as night shifts. The research, initially conducted on fruit flies, represents a significant step in understanding genetic mechanisms.


The work of Hall, Rosbash, and Young has enhanced our understanding of how our biological clocks function, opening new avenues in health, sleep regulation, and chronic disease management. Their Nobel Prize win highlights the value and impact of this vital discovery, guiding us from everyday life to long-term health planning.

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