Why study Cyanobacterium?
It is a model organism, for the following reasons: it is easily amenable to genetic studies, and it also performs many eukaryotic-type functions such as photosynthesis, carbon fixation, and nitrogen fixation even though it is a unicellular organism. Furthermore, its circadian clock is believed to work in ways similar to those of eukaryotic organisms and possibly even humans. Therefore, we can learn about our own circadian clocks through the studies of cyanobacterium. There is still much to learn about circadian clocks, because they are very complex and complicated, and the type of research addressed in this paper is very new and revolutionary. There is not a lot of previous research to build upon, so studying simple organisms such as cyanobacteria is a good place to start. Studying a simple organism is the best place to start when scientists are faced with a new and complicated question. This is because they are much easier to characterize and their systems are easier to study. It is also much easier to figure out how systems in simpler organisms work. Once the entire circadian clock system of cyanobacterium is known, it will be easier to study the circadian clocks of more highly evolved organisms and eventually to even figure out exactly how our own circadian clocks work.
Why is it important for us to know about our circadian clocks?
Circadian clocks are very important; they control our basic primitive needs and many systems in our bodies that allow us to be functional organisms. It would be very useful and beneficial for us to eventually be able to understand how our own circadian clocks work. Once we figure out the mechanisms used by our circadian clocks, we may be able to find ways to help people who have circadian clocks that may have been thrown off-balance, such as those who work at night and people who have difficulty functioning in the earlier hours of the morning. If the metabolic pathways incorporated by circadian clocks are fully studied and then carefully analyzed, we can find ways to help these sorts of people adjust to their situations. We could also find a way to prevent jet lag, so people can enjoy their first few days in exciting and exotic new places. New studies have even shown that circadian clocks may control the growth of tumors. Studies like this may eventually even lead to a cure for cancer! (more info)