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The internal circadian clock of a Drosophila (fruit fly) can be synchronised using vibrations, according to research published in the journal Science. The study suggests that an animal’s own movements can influence its clock.
“In a nutshell, our research shows that, in flies, the biological clock which regulates most bodily functions can be set – or entrained – not only by light and temperature, but also by mechanical stimuli that excite sensory receptors in the body,” says Dr Joerg Albert (UCL Ear Institute), a senior author of the study.
Image caption: The image shows an alarm clock, symbolizing the circadian clock. The pointers of the clock are formed by scolopidia, i.e. those mechanosensory units that provide information to the fly’s circadian clock. The red pointer shows the mean circadian time after flies were vibrated. The other pointer is grey and depicts the circadian time without vibration. Credit: Faxen/Albert, UCL.