Science and environment

Of flies and biological clocks

Saturday 7 November At


We awaken when the sun rises and go to sleep when the skies grow dark. We are animals of the daylight, and our waking and sleeping hours are determined by a biological clock. Who would have imagined that the mysteries of this internal timekeeper would be unraveled by researching the behavior of a fly—specifically, Drosophila melanogaster or, as it is more typically known, the fruit fly. This discovery will be the topic of conversation that Ramón Latorre will explore with Michael Rosbash, who in 2017 shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine with Michael W. Young and Jeffrey C. Hall for their discovery of a gene responsible for coding a protein that accumulates during the night and is degraded during the day, and is also the essential component of the fruit fly’s biological clock. Incredibly, the processes that the scientists discovered in the fly also apply to other plants and animals, including humans.

Activity in English with subtitles in Spanish


Imagen de Michael Rosbash
Michael Rosbash

Michael Rosbash is the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of the molecular mechanisms that control circadian rhythms, which regulate key functions such as behavior, hormone levels…

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Imagen de Ramón Latorre
Ramón Latorre

Ramón Latorre, recipient of Chile’s 2002 National Award in Natural Sciences, holds a PhD in science from the Universidad de Chile…

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