It's been known for years that the brains of many organisms incorporate a 'circadian clock,' a biological
timekeeping mechanism that connects the body's rhythms to external light levels. The clock helps the body sync with
changing daylight conditions -- a trick that can be used in conjunction with exposure to bright lights to help
readjust the body's internal clocks to combat jet lag. Writing this week in the journal Science, researchers report
that mice seem to have a second, independent circadian clock that connects to food consumption -- and it can overrule the regular light-based clock.
The food-synced clock, the researchers believe, could be used in nature to help animals adjust to hard times. "This new timepiece enables animals to switch their sleep and wake schedules in order to maximize their opportunity of finding food," explained Clifford Saper, one of the authors of the report. We'll talk him about the find, and what significance it might have for people.
Produced by Charles Bergquist, Director and Contributing Producer