The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall (72), Michael Rosbash (73) and Michael W. Young (68). It was announced by Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.
They were awarded for discovering molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythm. Their discoveries explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with Earth’s revolutions.
Circardian Rhythm is 24 hour cycle in physiological processes of living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria. It influences such biological functions as hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism.
These three noble laureates dsing the fruit fly as a model organism, had isolated a gene that controls daily biological rhythm. They had showed that this gene encodes a protein that accumulates in cell during night and is then degraded during the day.
Subsequently they identified additional protein components of this machinery, exposing mechanism governing the self-sustaining clockwork inside the cell. They also had raised awareness of importance of proper sleep hygiene.
Nobel Medicine Prize
The Nobel award for medicine is given to persons whose discoveries have significantly enhanced understanding of life or practice of medicine. The winners are chosen by Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute. The prestigious award carries prize money of 8 million Swedish kroner or 1.1 million dollars. Medicine is first of the Nobel Prizes awarded each year. It is one of five Nobel Prizes established by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite in 1895.