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San Diego Scientists Discover Gene That Wakes You Up

Aired 10/3/11 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUEST

Dr. Satchidananda Panda, Biologist, Salk Institute

Transcript

Luciano DiTacchio, Ph.D., Molecular Biologist, Salk Institute and Satchin Panda, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Regulatory Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute
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Above: Luciano DiTacchio, Ph.D., Molecular Biologist, Salk Institute and Satchin Panda, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Regulatory Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute

If you are among the many people who wake up each morning a little before your alarm clock rings, have you ever wondered why? What is it that triggers us to wake up on our own?

Researchers at the Salk Institute say they have found the gene that wakes us up. The reason that's important is that some chronic sleep disorders and diseases are linked to fragmented biological clocks.

Biologist Dr. Satchidananda Panda and his research associate Dr. Luciano DiTacchio isolated the wake-up gene. Their findings are published in this month's edition of the journal Science.

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