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Mapping the circuit of our internal clock

What’s that old saying about Mussolini? Say what you will but he made the trains run on time. Well, the suprachiasmatic nucleus – SCN for short – makes everything in the body run on time. The SCN is the control center for our internal genetic clock, the circadian rhythms which regulate everything from sleep to hunger, insulin sensitivity, hormone levels, body temperature, cell cycles and more.

SCN Before and After the Introduction of the Neurotoxin
Before the delivery of the neurotoxin (left) the SCN oscillate in a synchronized pattern. After the delivery of the neurotoxin (right), neurons in the SCN oscillate randomly.
Credit: (Image courtesy of the Doyle Lab)