EMBL: How Plankton Gets Jet Lagged
EMBL - Heidelberg: A hormone that governs sleep and jet lag in humans may also drive the mass migration of plankton in the ocean. The molecule in question, melatonin, is essential to maintain our daily rhythm, and the European scientists have now discovered that it governs the nightly migration of a plankton species from the surface to deeper waters. The findings, published online in Cell, indicate that melatonin's role in controlling daily rhythms probably evolved early in the history of animals, and hold hints to how our sleep patterns may have evolved.
Read more within the original publication:
Tosches, M.A., Bucher, D., Vopalensky, P. & Arendt, D. Melatonin signaling controls circadian swimming behavior in marine zooplankton. Published online in Cell on 25 September 2014.