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Biology News

Texas A&M Biologists Find Genetic Evidence for Clock Control and Vitamin A Regulation of Seasonal Responses in Monarchs

Biologists at Texas A&M University are making strides in understanding biological clock function in several model organisms and translating these studies into broader implications for human health.

This week, the Merlin Laboratory in the Texas A&M Department of Biology reports finding genetic evidence linking circadian clock genes and clock-regulated molecular pathways to the Monarch butterfly's uncanny ability to sense the changes in day length, or photoperiod -- an environmental cue that signals them to migrate and triggers the reproductive dormancy they exhibit in the process. Their work establishes a clear connection between clock genes and the vitamin A pathway within the brain of this iconic insect.

The Merlin [...]

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