Disruption in circadian rhythms leads to increased incidence of many diseases, including cancer. Each cell of the body has its own internal timing mechanism. A clock protein, called Rev-erb alpha, was thought to have a subordinate role because the clock runs fairly normally in its absence. New work has found that a closely related protein called Rev-erb beta serves as a back-up. When both are not functioning, the cellular clock loses its time-keeping function.
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