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It acts as our central pacemaker, checking the cycles of light and dark outside, and then sending signals to synchronize clocks throughout the rest of the body.Molecular processes occur so fast that is it difficult to imagine a 24-hour clock that works at the molecular level.The 24-hour oscillation of the levels of these proteins is controlled by a series of interconnected feedback loops, where the levels of the proteins precisely regulate their own production.

They are buried deep inside the tunnel, near the binding site for ATP, shown here in green.When a stretch of DNA does indeed behave like a molecular clock, it becomes a powerful tool for estimating the dates of lineage-splitting events.For example, imagine that a length of DNA found in two species differs by four bases (as shown below) and we know that this entire length of DNA changes at a rate of approximately one base per 25 million years.The small hormone melatonin is produced selectively at night, and circulates through the blood to coordinate our nightly activities, such as sleep.Treatment with melatonin may be used to change this cycle artificially, for instance helping to shift cycles that are out of phase during jet lag.

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Kai A stimulates Kai C to add these phosphate groups to itself, and Kai B blocks the action of Kai A, allowing Kai C to remove these phosphates from itself.

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