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Chemical basis of a biological clock.

Chemical basis of a biological clock

The ticking of a fruit fly's biological clock involves a chemical called a proteoglycan, a long chain of sugar subunits attached to a protein. This result, reported by Michael Rosbash of Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., comes from studies of a fly gene known as period (abbreviated as per), which is required for the insect's biological rhythms. By moving pieces of DNA into fly reproductive cells, Rosbach located the per gene on a segment of DNA that is active in the embryonic nervous system and again late in the pupal stage and in adulthood, especially in the fly head. The nucleotide sequence of the per gene was determined, and its predicted product resembles a mammalian proteoglycan. In further experiments, Rosbach showed "the per gene does indeed code for a proteoglycan.'
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Author:Miller, Julie Ann
Publication:Science News
Date:May 24, 1986
Words:136
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