In the journal Nature CCB affiliate Todd Holmes and graduate student Lisa Baik in his lab, in collaboration with Craig Montell and graduate student Jinfei Ni, report the discovery of a previously uncharacterized rhodopsin, Rh7. Unlike other rhodopsins which work in the eye and external photoreceptors, Rh7 operates directly in circadian neurons. Rh7 contributes to circadian light entrainment by circadian pacemaker neurons in the Drosophila brain with peak activation by violet light.
What is Chronobiology?
Chronobiology is the biology of time and internal biological clocks. Biological clocks range from oscillations found in nerve cells on the millisecond scale to oscillations in minutes, hours, days, and years. Although the commonly used phrase "your biological clock is ticking" relates to the window of years for becoming parents, many clocks are found in humans, such as time to puberty, menopause, and aging "clocks." We are focused primarily on one of these chronobiological phenomena: the daily or circadian clock.
What are Circadian Rhythms?
Circadian rhythms are biological oscillations that recur with a period of approximately one day. Health issues related to circadian rhythms include jet lag, shift work, seasonal depression, and time-of-day variations in response to medical treatments. Our Center is focused on these circadian rhythms, the underlying biological clock mechanisms that drive the rhythms, and their implications for human health and agriculture.
New Name: Center for Circadian Biology
Formerly known as the Center for Chronobiology, our center has a new name, Center for Circadian Biology. Many people were uncertain of the meaning of "chronobiology," but were much more familiar with "circadian rhythms.”
The CCB offers administrative support to improve the effectiveness of circadian biology research programs and to facilitate multi-investigator interactions, including:
- Support for submitting applications and administering grants that cross departmental borders, involve multiple investigators, or provide fellowship support for jointly-sponsored students and postdocs.
- Serving as a university affiliation for research personnel, such as sabbatical visitors.
- Help in identifying research funding sources and opportunities and investigating and interpreting the submission instructions to ensure a solid application.