NIAS Wednesday Discussion: "Evolution of Accurate Biological Clocks" by Vishwanath Varma, Lecture Hall, NIAS, 1600 hrs

NIAS Wednesday Discussion



Topic:              Evolution of Accurate Biological Clocks


Speaker:          Vishwanath Varma

DBT Post-Doctoral Fellow, School of Natural Sciences and Engineering, NIAS


Chairperson:    Binoy VV

                        Assistant Professor, School of Natural Sciences and Engineering, NIAS



Date:               14th November 2018


Time:              4.00 pm


Venue:            Lecture Hall, NIAS


All are cordially invited


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Abstract:  Have you noticed how you feel hungry or sleepy at exactly the same time of the day even when you don’t look at a clock? These instincts and others are controlled by a ‘biological clock’ which is present in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans and has evolved to synchronize their behaviour and physiology with the cyclic environment. My research on the evolution of daily clocks using Drosophila melanogaster showed that clocks can acquire greater accuracy by enhancing responsiveness to reliable time cues (Zeitgebers like light) while reducing sensitivity to temperature which is not a good indicator of time of the day. While we selected for adult flies that accurately timed their emergence from pupae, we found that their timing of early developmental (larval and pupal) stages does not change. Instead, the clock restricts the timing of only the final act of adult emergence. These results will be discussed in the context of therapeutic treatments involving light and other approaches to stabilize rhythms in sleep disorders and shift workers.


About the Speaker: Dr. Vishwanath Varma’s current research is on personality and social behaviour in the Deccan Mahseer, an important indigenous, freshwater game fish. He has previously worked on the evolution of circadian rhythms and fitness characters associated with rhythmic behaviour during his Ph.D. at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.


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For further info, please contact Sangeetha Menon [ or] Coordinator of NIAS Wednesday Discussion Meetings

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018