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Gene responsible for rewinding body's 'clock' described by scientists at TSRI

many scientists had speculated that the key protein would be rhodopsin, the light-capturing protein present in rods and cones of the eye that are responsible for vision.

However, certain people who were born blind because they lacked rods and cones could nevertheless maintain their circadian balance. This convinced many scientists that there must be some other form of photo-reception.

In the Science study the TSRI and GNF team knocked out the Opn4 gene in mice and showed that in its absence, the mice could not reset their clocks.

The article, "Melanopsin (Opn4) Requirement for Normal Light-Induced Circadian Phase Shifting" was authored by Satchidananda Panda, Trey K. Sato, Ana Maria Castrucci, Willem J. DeGrip, John B. Hogenesch, Ignacio Provencio, and Steve A. Kay and appears in the December 13, 2002 issue of the journal Science.


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Contact: Keith McKeown
kmckeown@scripps.edu
858-784-8134
Scripps Research Institute
12-Dec-2002


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