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  Understanding molecular basis of our ‘food clock’

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Most people know about the circadian clock in our body, which controls sleep, but what about the food clock? Dr. Louis Ptacek of the University of California, San Francisco, explains that while each clock has its own function, they're connected to each other.

Ptacek:           So, the master clock impinges on the food clock; the food clock impinges on the master clock, the circadian clock. And so, bad eating habits can screw up our circadian clock, bad sleeping habits can screw up our food clock. So, what we want to do is try to live with both of these clocks moving in a healthy and synchronized way.

Narrator:       Ptacek's lab recently found a key protein that is critical to resetting the food clock if our eating habits change.

Ptacek:           So, ultimately our hope is that better understanding of the molecular basis of the food clock and the circadian clock may help with treatments for obesity and diabetes and coincident medical problems that go along with that.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.