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Trends Genet. 2000 Mar;16(3):135-42.

Circadian rhythms: new functions for old clock genes.

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  • 1Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge UK.


The mechanisms of circadian clocks, which time daily events, are being investigated by characterizing 'clock genes' that affect daily rhythms. The core of the clock mechanism in Drosophila, Neurospora, mammals and cyanobacteria is described by a transcription-translation feedback-loop model. However, problems with this model could indicate that it is time to look at the functions of these genes in a different light. Our a priori assumptions about the nature of circadian clocks might have restricted our search for new mutants in ways that prevent us from finding important clock genes.

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