U.S. scientists Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young won the 2017 Nobel Prize for medicine on Monday for unravelling molecular mechanisms that control our internal body clocks. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.
Resounding applause for one of the newest Nobel laureates. Michael Young part of a trio of U.S. scientists recognized for their research into what makes us tick. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NOBEL COMMITTEE SECRETARY, THOMAS PERLMANN, SAYING: "The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute has today decided to award the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, jointly, to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for their discoveries on molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm." To put it simply, they unraveled how our internal body clock works. That helps explain how people experience jet lag when their internal circadian rhythms get out of sync and also has wider implications for disorders ranging from insomnia to depression to heart disease. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NOBEL COMMITTEE MEMBER, CHRISTER HOOG, SAYING: "It's an evolutionary clock in the sense that it's found in all organisms and it's based on how the sun goes up and down every day. And for that you need to adapt. So you need to be, kind of, active in the morning, active during the day, but you need to go to sleep in the evening. Otherwise your body will finally, I guess, collapse because you will be very, very tired." The pioneering work of the three scientists began with fruit flies. Scientists today are exploring novel approaches to new treatments based on such circadian cycles, including establishing the best times to take medicines, and an increased focus on the importance of healthy sleeping patterns. With research continuing into what happens if you constantly disobey your inner body clock.