Tag Archives: circadian rhythms

“Forschungsobjekt” im All

Der deutsche Astronaut Alexander Gerst führt auf der ISS derzeit vor allem humanphysiologische Experimente durch

Seit dem 29. Mai 2014 ist Alexander Gerst in der Schwerelosigkeit – und sein erstes Forschungsobjekt in der Internationalen Raumstation ISS ist zurzeit vor allem er selbst. Gerade für die Raumfahrtmediziner sind die Daten zu Beginn seiner Mission eine wichtige Basis, um Veränderungen des menschlichen Körpers in der Schwerelosigkeit zu beobachten und zu analysieren. Und so vermisst Alexander Gerst sich in seinen ersten beiden Wochen seiner “Blue Dot Mission” zunächst selbst, sammelt Blut- und Speichelproben und nimmt Ultraschallbilder seiner Augen auf. Für zwei vom Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) geförderte Experimente erfasst der deutsche ESA-Astronaut außerdem nun den Zustand seiner Haut sowie seine Körperkerntemperatur und somit seine innere Uhr. (more…)

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The rhythm of everything

Dawn triggers basic biological changes in the waking human body. As the sun rises, so does heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. The liver, the kidneys and many natural processes also begin shifting from idle into high gear. Then as daylight wanes and darkness descends, these processes likewise begin to subside, returning to their lowest levels again as we sleep.

These internal biological patterns are tightly linked to an external cosmic pattern: the earth’s rotation around the sun once every 24 hours. This endless loop of light and darkness and the corresponding synchrony of internal and external clocks, are called circadian rhythms, from “circa diem,” Latin for “approximately a day.” Circadian rhythms influence almost all living organisms, from bacteria to algae, insects, birds and, as is increasingly understood by science, humans beings. (more…)

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From the Beginning, the Mind Knows the Difference Between Night and Day

The brain is apparently programmed from birth to develop the ability to determine sunrise and sunset, new research on circadian rhythms at the University of Chicago shows.

The research sheds new light on brain plasticity and may explain some basic human behaviors, according to Brian Prendergast, associate professor in psychology, and co-author of a paper published April 27 in the journal PLoS One. The lead author is August Kampf-Lassin, an advanced graduate student at the University. (more…)

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Circadian Rhythms Spark Plants’ Ability to Survive Freezing Weather

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Just as monarch butterflies depend on circadian cues to begin their annual migration, so do plants to survive freezing temperatures.

All living things – humans, animals, plants, microbes – are influenced by circadian rhythms, which are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. In the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Michael Thomashow, University Distinguished Professor of molecular genetics, along with MSU colleagues Malia Dong and Eva Farré, has identified that the circadian clock provides key input required for plants to attain maximum freezing tolerance. (more…)

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