Circadian time signatures of fitness and disease

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Science  25 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6315, pp. 994-999
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah4965

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Biological clocks are autonomous anticipatory oscillators that play a critical role in the organization and information processing from genome to whole organisms. Transformative advances into the clock system have opened insight into fundamental mechanisms through which clocks program energy transfer from sunlight into organic matter and potential energy, in addition to cell development and genotoxic stress response. The identification of clocks in nearly every single cell of the body raises questions as to how this gives rise to rhythmic physiology in multicellular organisms and how environmental signals entrain clocks to geophysical time. Here, we consider advances in understanding how regulatory networks emergent in clocks give rise to cell type–specific functions within tissues to affect homeostasis.

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