Neuroscience: Evolving Rhythms

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Science  16 Feb 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5251, pp. 906
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5251.906


The circadian clock, the body's light-sensitive timekeeper, functions in a similar manner, with similar components, throughout the vertebrate lineage, indicating it arose as the lineage did, about 450 million years ago. But its components fit together in slightly different ways in different animals, pointing to a degree of plasticity and adaptability.