Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Internal Clocks Keep Everything From Humans To Algae Ticking

Date:
March 5, 1998
Source:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Summary:
Those who forget to set their clocks forward April 5 for Daylight Savings Time can be confident that their internal clock is running on schedule - regulating things such as sleep, body temperature and hormone production. Even simple organisms such as single-celled algae have internal clocks.

Those who forget to set their clocks forward April 5 for Daylight Savings Time can be confident that their internal clock is running on schedule - regulating things such as sleep, body temperature and hormone production. Even simple organisms such as single-celled algae have internal clocks.

Related Articles


Vanderbilt University biologist Carl Johnson, who studies circadian (biological) rhythms, says that the biological clocks of lower organisms and humans are "entrained" by both artificial and natural light.

For humans, man-made alarm clocks and artificial light help set our internal clock, which naturally runs at a daily rate slightly longer than 24 hours.

Johnson says there are certain constants about the human biological clock. For example, the older we are, the faster our internal clock tends to run.

This may be the reason why older people wake up early in the morning and therefore experience sleep disruptions - their internal "alarm clock" goes off too early. Also, most humans would benefit from an afternoon nap, because napping is an innate biological function.

"The human internal clock has become entrained by man-made clocks," Johnson said. "For lower organisms, light is usually the factor that sets the timing of the internal clock."

Johnson is currently working on several research projects related to biological clocks, including the role of circadian rhythms in blue-green algae in which he and researchers from Japan and Texas A & M University have developed "mutant" blue-green algae to determine the adaptive significance of biological clocks.

The mutant algae and natural algae are subjected to light in two different cycles - 24 hours, the "natural day," and 30 hours. The two algae groups start out the same, but the mutant algae adapt to the 30-hour light cycle, while the natural blue-green algae does not.

Johnson is also researching the regulatory role of calcium in and melatonin's role in plants, such as how it may affect seasonal functions, such as flowering. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Human Frontier Science Program and the National Institute of Mental Health.

For more news about Vanderbilt, visit the News and Public Affairs home page on the Internet at www.vanderbilt.edu/News.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "Internal Clocks Keep Everything From Humans To Algae Ticking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980305054416.htm>.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (1998, March 5). Internal Clocks Keep Everything From Humans To Algae Ticking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980305054416.htm
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "Internal Clocks Keep Everything From Humans To Algae Ticking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980305054416.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins