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How does the Circadian clock work in insects like flies?

  1. Nov 15, 2012 #1
    Hey all!

    I am having a hard time finding a few specific answers, so thought I would give you biology nutz a question :)

    A insect, more specifically, a fly...Can anyone explain the biological/chemical properties of a flies circadian clock? What governs a flies biological clock in terms of its biology ?

    Possibly try and answer this based on the knowledge I dont know much about Biology :) and also, in terms of if someone wanted to "adjust or modify" a flies circadian clock.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2012 #2


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    Which clock?
  4. Nov 16, 2012 #3
    Dammn :)

    I will have to ask the people who said it. They simply said that:

    "Deuterium has been shown to slow down the circadian clock (rythm) of flies"

    I want to understand the biological mechanics that govern a fly.
  5. Nov 16, 2012 #4


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    It's complex, but simply stated it's a feedback loop. There are transcription factors (Clock, cycle) that bind DNA and stimulate the expression of proteins (Period, Timeless), these inhibit the transcription factors (feedback loop).

    The accumulation of Period of Timeless marks one period of the clock, the degradation of the proteins the other. Light plays a major role in the degradation of the protein Timeless. More info here: http://www.sdbonline.org/fly/neural/timeless.htm
  6. Nov 16, 2012 #5


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