Turkey, Science-Technology

Turkish scientist worked with medicine Nobel laureate

Tayfun Ozcelik says he discovered insomnia gene with Michael Young

Turkish scientist worked with medicine Nobel laureate Turkish scientist Tayfun Ozcelik


By Selma Kasap 


A Turkish scientist said on Wednesday he had worked with Michael Young, one of the three Nobel laureates for medicine this year.

Tayfun Ozcelik, who currently works in Ankara-based Bilkent University, told Anadolu Agency he had discovered the insomnia gene with Young.

The gene impacts the time when you begin to feel tired at night.

Young, Jeffrey Hall and Michael Rosbash were awarded the Nobel Prize on Monday for their work on decoding the molecular mechanism that controls our 24-hour biological clock. 

The Nobel Prize committee appreciated the study by Young and Ozcelik, saying it was an important milestone. 

The study said a CRY1 gene mutation, which can be tracked by a DNA test, causes insomnia in some people. 

The study was supported by Bilkent, Rockefeller and Cornell Universities, Turkish Academy of Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Calico Life Sciences LLC, and Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. 

It was published this April in the science journal Cell, Ozcelik said, adding that he was happy to hear that Young had won a Nobel Prize. 

In 2008, Ozcelik said, he along with a physiologist Uner Tan had discovered a gene that allowed people to walk on both their hands and feet at the same time. 

The study was carried out on four families living in different cities of Turkey, and the research was published in the journal Nature Genetics, last September.

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