PerspectiveCircadian Rhythms

PAS, Present, and Future: Clues to the Origins of Circadian Clocks

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Science  02 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5313, pp. 753-754
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5313.753

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Circadian clocks are everywhere. These molecular time-keeping devices are found in the cells and tissues of all organisms, including single-cell life forms and plants. In this issue Crosthwaite et al. (p. 763) report a key molecular component, WC-2, of the circadian clock from the fungus Neurospora, which contains one of the best understood clocks. In his Perspective Kay discusses the fact that WC-2 is also a light-receiving molecule and how this lets us understand for the first time the evolutionary origins of circadian clocks.