Introduction. Galileo, Huygens and the Pendulum Clock: Isochronism and Synchronicity
Invited editor: Filip Buyse
On the 2nd October 2017, the Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three researchers who were able to elucidate how the internal, biological clock of living organisms adapts itself so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions. In the press release of the Noble Prize committee we read the following introductory paragraph: Life on Earth is adapted to the rotation of our planet. For many years we have known that living organisms, including humans, have an internal, biological clock that helps them anticipate and adapt to the regular rhythm of the day. But how does this clock actually work? Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings. Their discoveries explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions.