Narrator: This is Science Today. Understanding the intricacies of the human circadian rhythm, the body's internal biological clock that regulates physiological and biochemical processes, is the goal of Ying-hui Fu, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. Fu and her colleagues recently discovered that genes regulate our sleep patterns – one of the many processes the circadian rhythm controls.
Fu: To me, that was just fascinating to know that. So for us, now we know there is a way our sleep behavior is all genetically determined – just like our eye color, our hair color, our height, our weight. It's our genetic component. If we keep studying, we know there is a way we can regulate our jet lag problem, our work shift, how do we adjust our work shift and all these kinds of things. Another big goal of mine is to use circadian rhythm as a doorway to understand human behavior because we know that genetics plays an important component in our behavior.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.