Clock genes time brain development

Circadian rhythms outside the brain’s central pacemaker may control the trajectory of brain plasticity

Scientists have long known that humans and other animals have a master biological clock situated in a deep brain region called the hypothalamus. In this master clock, cells manufacture timekeeper molecules whose levels oscillate to maintain the 24 hour cycles that define our lives. Yet these same timekeeper molecules are made throughout the brain and body, suggesting undiscovered functions for circadian genes outside the hypothalamus.

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