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.

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 July 23, 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 July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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