Oct. 2 (UPI) -- The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded Monday to three Americans for their discovery of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.
Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were jointly awarded the prize by The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet.
"Using fruit flies as a model organism, this year's Nobel laureates isolated a gene that controls the normal daily biological rhythm," the Nobel announcement said. "They showed that this gene encodes a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night and is then degraded during the day."
The scientists were able to delve deeper into the inner workings of how an internal, biological clock works in humans and organisms.
Hall, 72, earned a doctoral degree in 1971 at the University of Washington in Seattle and was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. In 2002, he became associated with University of Maine.
Rosbash, 73, earned his doctorate in 1970 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Since 1974, he has been on faculty at Brandeis University.
Young earned his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975, later becoming a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif..
Other Nobel Prizes will be awarded over the next few days: physics on Tuesday, chemistry on Wednesday, literature on Thursday, peace on Friday and economics on Oct. 9.