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The science to control the biological clock

The science to control the biological clock

Like a perfect Swiss watch machine, our biological clock guides the physiological processes and behaviors that the organism carries out periodically at a specific time. A complicated mechanism we have in our brain and all our cells that makes our performance adapt to our rhythm. This is chronobiology, and it is more depth when linking the human organism actions with the night-day cycle produced by the rotation of the Earth.

Light and darkness have influenced men lives since the beginning of our existence. The more we perceive the information our body sends us about our daily cycle, the better are the benefits we will obtain. Cycle observation is very important for the prevention and treatment of diseases. Chronopharmacology is a chronobiology branch which has shown that taking medicines or supplements at an appropriate time can reduce side effects.

The Infradian rhythms (from the Latin infra, meaning under and dies, which means day) are those that last more than 24 hours. They have a frequency of a few days, weeks, months, or even once a year. A good example is the seasonal rhythms. The Ultradian rhythms (from the Latin ultra, meaning beyond and dies, meaning "day") last less than 24 hours. Many physiological functions of the human organism have an ultradian rhythm. The Circadians (from Latin circa, meaning around and dies, meaning day) last approximately 24 hours. For example, the sleep-wake cycle or the movement of the leaves.

The Chronobiology beginnings date from the eighteenth century. The astronomer Jean Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan kept track of the daily movements of the Mimosa leaves. In his experiments, he demonstrated that the leaves continued to oscillate following the circadian rhythm, that is, with oscillations of the biological variables at regular intervals of time, even in permanent darkness.

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TEXT: Alana Fernandez; IMAGES: Suresh