Gene Identified for Morning Wake-Up Call, Northwestern University Study

Published: May 17, 2013

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Northwestern University scientists have shown a gene involved in neurodegenerative disease also plays a critical role in the proper function of the circadian clock. In a study of the common fruit fly, the researchers found the gene, called Ataxin-2, keeps the clock responsible for sleeping and waking on a 24-hour rhythm. Without the gene, the rhythm of the fruit fly's sleep-wake cycle is disturbed, making waking up on a regular schedule difficult for the fly.

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