During somitogenesis an oscillatory mechanism termed the “segmentation” clock generates periodic waves of gene expression, which translate into the periodic spatial pattern manifest as somites. The dynamic expression of the clock genes shares the same periodicity as somitogenesis. Notch signaling is believed to play a role in the segmentation clock mechanism. The paper by Hirata et al.(1) identifies a biological clock in cultured cells that is dependent upon the Notch target gene Hes1, and which shows a periodicity similar to that of the segmentation clock. This finding opens the possibility that the same oscillator mechanism might also operate in other tissues or cell types.