Bio-electromagnetism Description

Biological cells use bioelectricity to store metabolic energy, to do work or trigger internal changes, and to signal one another. Bioelectromagnetism is the electric current produced by action potentials along with the magnetic fields they generate through the phenomenon of electromagnetism. Bioelectromagnetism is studied primarily through the techniques of electrophysiology. In the late eighteenth century, the Italian physician and physicist Luigi Galvani first recorded the phenomenon while dissecting a frog at a table where he had been conducting experiments with static electricity. Galvani coined the term animal electricity to describe the phenomenon, while contemporaries labeled it galvanism. Galvani and contemporaries regarded muscle activation as resulting from an electrical fluid or substance in the nerves. Bioelectromagnetism is an aspect of all living things, including all plants and animals. Some animals have acute bioelectric sensors, and others, such as migratory birds, are believed to navigate in part by orienteering with respect to the Earth's magnetic field. Also, sharks are more sensitive to local interaction in electromagnetic fields than most humans. Other animals, such as the electric eel, are able to generate large electric fields outside their bodies. In the life sciences, biomedical engineering uses concepts of circuit theory, molecular biology, pharmacology, and bioelectricity. Bioelectromagnetism is associated with biorhythms and chronobiology. Biofeedback is used in physiology and psychology to monitor rhythmic cycles of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics and as a technique for teaching the control of bioelectric functions. Bioelectromagnetism is also used in certain touch screen technologies that don't actually rely on "touch" but rather on recognizing the electromagnetic waves of body (e.g. the finger) when it comes close to the screen[citation needed]. Bioelectromagnetism involves the interaction of ions. There are multiple categories of Bioelectromagnetism such as brainwaves, myoelectricity (e.g., heart-muscle phenomena), and other related subdivisions of the same general bioelectromagnetic phenomena. One such phenomenon is a brainwave, which neurophysiology studies, where bioelectromagnetic fluctuations of voltage between parts of the cerebral cortex are detectable with an electroencephalograph. This is primarily studied in the brain by way of electroencephalograms.

Bioelectromagnetism is a discipline that examines the electric, electromagnetic, and magnetic phenomena which arise in biological tissues. These phenomena include: The behavior of excitable tissue (the sources) The electric currents and potentials in the volume conductor The magnetic field at and beyond the body The response of excitable cells to electric and magnetic field stimulation The intrinsic electric and magnetic properties of the tissue It is important to separate the concept of bioelectromagnetism from the concept of medical electronics; the former involves bioelectric, bioelectromagnetic, and biomagnetic phenomena and measurement and stimulation methodology, whereas the latter refers to the actual devices used for these purposes. By definition, bioelectromagnetism is interdisciplinary since it involves the association of the life sciences with the physical and engineering sciences. Consequently, we have a special interest in those disciplines that combine engineering and physics with biology and medicine. These disciplines are briefly defined as follows:

Biophysics: The science that is concerned with the solution of biological problems in terms of the concepts of physics. or magnetic phenomena. Depending on whether we discuss electric. namely (A) Bioelectricity. or the measurement of intrinsic properties of tissue. Subdivision B has historically been called "biomagnetism" which unfortunately can be confused with our Subdivision C. 1865). and vice versa (Maxwell. because this field is not easily detected and does not have any known value.e.1 Division on a Theoretical Basis The discipline of bioelectromagnetism may be subdivided in many different ways. Reciprocity Owing to the principle of reciprocity. The main fields of application of biotechnology are agriculture. and the sensitivity distribution of electric impedance measurements are the same.2 SUBDIVISIONS OF BIOELECTROMAGNETISM 1.2. One such classification divides the field on theoretical grounds according to two universal principles: Maxwell's equations (the electromagnetic connection) and the principle of reciprocity. Medical physics: A science based upon physical problems in clinical medicine. This philosophy is illustrated in Figure 1. analysis of biological systems. and food and drug production. and manufacturing of products based on advances in this technology. This term is also frequently used to encompass both biomedical engineering and biochemical engineering (biotechnology). (I) Measurement of an electric or a magnetic field from a bioelectric source or (the magnetic field from) magnetic material. connect time-varying electric and magnetic fields so that when there are bioelectric fields there always are also biomagnetic fields. the electromagnetic connection.2) as follows:. bioelectromagnetism may be divided along one conceptual dimension (horizontally in Figure 1. 1. Bioengineering: The application of engineering to the development of health care devices. where appropriate. Depending on whether we discuss the measurement of the field. the sensitivity distribution in the detection of bioelectric signals. Therefore." (The reader experienced in electromagnetic theory will note the omission of a logical fourth subdivision: measurement of the electric field induced by variation in the magnetic field arising from magnetic material in tissue. bioelectromagnetism may be divided within this framework (vertically in Figure 1.2 and is discussed in greater detail below.2) into three subdivisions. i. Biotechnology: The study of microbiological process technology. However. electromagnetic. Biomedical engineering: An engineering discipline concerned with the application of science and technology (devices and methods) to biology and medicine. in this book. of stimulation/magnetization. Maxwell's Equations Maxwell's equations. respectively. the energy distribution in electric stimulation. This is also true for the corresponding bioelectromagnetic and biomagnetic methods. (B) Bioelectromagnetism (biomagnetism). Medical electronics: A division of biomedical engineering concerned with electronic devices and methods in medicine. (II) Electric stimulation with an electric or a magnetic field or the magnetization of materials (with magnetic field) . we emphasize that the more precise term is "bioelectromagnetism. for Subdivision B we also use the conventional name "biomagnetism" but. we have omitted it from our discussion). and (C) Biomagnetism.

This subdivision includes also the magnetic field produced by magnetic material in the tissue. Fig. Examples of these fields in the three horizontal subdivisions are shown in Table 1. and III) measurement of intrinsic electric and magnetic properties of tissue. The horizontal divisions are tied together by Maxwell's equations and the vertical divisions by the principle of reciprocity. Then the division is made vertically to: I) measurement of fields.1 I ) Measurements of fields (A) Bioelectricity (B) Bioelectromagnetism (C) Biomagnetism (Biomagnetism) . essentially.2 and a detailed description of its elements is given in this section. Organization of bioelectromagnetism into its subdivisions. the active tissues produce electromagnetic energy. In this subdivision of bioelectromagnetism.1. (I) Measurement of an electric or a magnetic field refers.(III) Measurement of the intrinsic electric or magnetic properties of tissue. Description of the Subdivisions The aforementioned taxonomy is illustrated in Figure 1. and C) biomagnetism. It is first divided horizontally to: A) bioelectricity B) bioelectromagnetism (biomagnetism). Table 1. which is measured either electrically or magnetically within or outside the organism in which the source lies. to the electric or magnetic signals produced by the activity of living tissues. II) stimulation and magnetization. 1.2.

2 II ) Stimulation and magnetization (A) Bioelectricity Stimulation patch clamp.2.) Similarly the nonlinear membrane properties may be defined with both subthreshold and transthreshold stimuli. an insulated human body may also be charged to a high electric potential. were made already during the early development of bioelectricity but their value is only in the entertainment. also called electrobiology and magnetobiology. When the magnetic energy is applied to tissue containing ferromagnetic material. called electrotherapy or magnetotherapy.Neural cells electroencephalography (EEG) electroneurography (ENG) electroretinography (ERG) Muscle cells electrocardiography (ECG) electromyography (EMG) Other tissue electro-oculography (EOG) electronystagmography (ENG) magnetoencephalography (MEG) magnetoneurography (MNG) magnetoretinography (MRG) magnetocardiography (MCG) magnetomyography (MMG) magneto-oculography (MOG) magnetonystagmography (MNG) magnetopneumogram magnetohepatogram (II) Electric stimulation with an electric or a magnetic field or the magnetization of materials includes the effects of applied electric and magnetic fields on tissue. respectively. (To be accurate. it is called electric stimulation or magnetic stimulation. electric or magnetic energy is generated with an electronic device outside biological tissues. This kind of experiment. called electrifying. are shown in Table 1. the material is magnetized. When this electric or magnetic energy is applied to excitable tissue in order to activate it. In this subdivision of bioelectromagnetism. respectively. voltage clamp electric stimulation of the central nervous system or of motor nerve/muscle electric cardiac pacing electric cardiac defibrillation Therapeutic applications electrotherapy electrosurgery (surgical diathermy) Magnetization magnetic stimulation of the central nervous system or of motor nerve/muscle magnetic cardiac pacing magnetic cardiac defibrillation electromagnetotherapy magnetotherapy (B) Bioelectromagnetism (Biomagnetism) (C) Biomagnetism magnetization of ferromagnetic material . Table 1. Examples of this second subdivision of bioelectromagnetism. Subthreshold electric or magnetic energy may also be applied for other therapeutic purposes.

) and Thales (c. Table 1. As in Subdivision II. The sheatfish is also illustrated in an Egyptian sepulcher fresco (Morgan. Gilbert constructed the first instrument to measure this power. the fish generated electric shocks with an amplitude of more than 450 V. William Gilbert (1544-1603). This electroscope was a light metal needle pivoted on a pin so that it would turn toward the substances of attracting power (see Figure 1. Overview Bioenergetics is the part of biochemistry concerned with the energy involved in making and breaking of chemical bonds in the molecules found in biological organisms. The hieroglyph describes the electric sheatfish (catfish) as a fish that "releases the troops. when the catch included such a fish. electric or magnetic energy is generated by an electronic device outside the biological tissue and applied to it.C. The Greek philosophers Aristotle (384-322 B. 1600). 1868). when the strength of the energy is subthreshold.3 illustrates this subdivision: Table 1.C. which forced the fishermen to release all of the fish. 1931). when Scribonius Largus recommended the use of torpedo fish for curing headaches and gouty arthritis (Kellaway. This is an active area of biological research that includes the study of thousands of different cellular processes such as cellular respiration and the many other metabolic processes that can lead to production and utilization of energy in forms such as ATP molecules. 1946). Gilbert published his experiments in 1600 in a book entitled De Magnete (Gilbert. However. the passive (intrinsic) electric and magnetic properties of the tissue may be obtained by performing suitable measurements.) Bioenergetics[1] is the subject of a field of biochemistry that concerns energy flow through living systems.3 III ) Measurement of intrinsic properties (A) Bioelectricity (B) Bioelectromagnetism (C) Biomagnetism (Biomagnetism) electric measurement of magnetic measurement of measurement of magnetic electric impedance electric impedance susceptibility impedance cardiography magnetic susceptibility plethysmography impedance pneumography magnetic remanence measurement impedance tomography impedance tomography magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) electrodermal response (EDR) The first written document on bioelectric events is in an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph of 4000 B.C.D.4)." Evidently. 46. The electric fish remained the only means of producing electricity for electrotherapeutic experiments until the seventeenth century. from the Greek name for amber (ηλεκτρον).625-547 B. was the first to subject the attractive power of amber to planned experiment.(III) Measurement of the intrinsic electric or magnetic properties of tissue is included in bioelectromagnetism as a third subdivision. Gilbert called the substances possessing this power of attraction electricks.) experimented with amber and recognized its power to attract light substances (Smith.20 at the end of this chapter. (The reader may refer to Figure 1. The first written document on the medical application of electricity is from the year A. Thus he coined the term that eventually became the new science of electricity. physician to Queen Elizabeth I of England. . It presents a chronology of important historical events in bioelectromagnetism from the year 1600 until today.

autotrophs can produce ATP using light energy. energy needs to be put in. The amount of energy actually obtained by the organism is lower than the amount present in the food.987 cal/mol T is temperature in kelvins K = 273 + ˚C [P] is products [R] is the reactants . and thermogenesis. • The free energy (ΔG) gained or lost in a reaction can be calculated: ΔG = ΔH . Living organisms produce ATP from energy sources via oxidative phosphorylation. and hydrogen sulfide to produce ATP. In photosynthesis. The entire reaction is usually catabolic.303RT log([P]/[R]) where • o o o o R is the gas constant. The oxidation releases energy because stronger bonds have been formed. such as elemental sulfur.ΔG because energy is lost from the bonds formed by the products. The ability to harness energy from a variety of metabolic pathways is a property of all living organisms. when weak bonds are broken and stronger bonds are made. living organisms survive because of exchange of energy within and without. lithotrophs can oxidize minerals such as nitrates or forms of sulfur. development and metabolism are some of the central phenomena in the study of biological organisms. Life is dependent on energy transformations.[2] The materials are generally combined with oxygen to release energy. chemical bonds are broken and made as part of the exchange and transformation of energy. Types of reactions • Exergonic is a spontaneous reaction that releases energy.T ΔS. For example. fats. ΔG = ΔG˚' + 2. This hydrolysis of ATP is used as a battery to store energy in cells. such as breaking other bonds to do chemistry. In a living organism. The production of stronger bonds allows release of usable energy. metabolism. sulfites. Here it is the energy of hydration that results in energy release. These are mostly carbohydrates.Growth. 1. dissolved in water. The utilization of these materials is a form of slow combustion. Living organisms obtain energy from organic and inorganic materials. That is why the energy content of food can be estimated with a bomb calorimeter. It is thermodynamically favored. The bonds holding the molecules of nutrients together and the bonds holding molecules of free oxygen together are all relatively weak compared with the chemical bonds holding carbon dioxide and water together. It has a +ΔG because energy is required to break bonds. The release of energy. there are losses in digestion. This net energy may evolve as heat. this activation energy drives the reactants from a stable state to a highly energetic unstable configuration. for intermediate metabolism. These reactants are usually complex molecules that are broken into simpler products. Also. The materials are oxidized slowly enough that the organisms do not actually produce fire. and proteins. also called free energy is a . or some of which may be used by the organism for other purposes. Utilization of chemical energy from such molecular bond rearrangement powers biological processes in every biological organism. The role of energy is fundamental to such biological processes. On the course of a reaction. Heterotrophs must consume organic compounds. Endergonic is an anabolic reaction that consumes energy. The terminal phosphate bonds of ATP are relatively weak compared with the stronger bonds formed when ATP is broken down to adenosine monophosphate and phosphate. although some can also be oxidized anaerobically by various organisms. Energy is available for work (such as mechanical work) or for other processes (such as chemical synthesis and anabolic processes in growth).

[6] [edit] Continuum biomechanics The mechanical analysis of biomaterials and biofluids is usually carried forth with the concepts of continuum mechanics... and clinical neurophysiology (e. computer simulation and experimental measurements. Mechanical deformation of hard tissues (like wood.g. and cells. muscle and cartilage) usually undergo large deformations and thus their analysis rely on the finite strain theory and computer simulations. including several steps of modeling. describing the application of engineering mechanics to biological and medical systems.g. Research is done in a iterative process of hypothesis and verification.g. One of the most remarkable characteristic of biomaterials is their hierarchical structure. Elements of mechanical engineering (e.g. Applied mechanics. numerical methods). hard and soft tissues. the laws of mechanics are applied in order to gain a greater understanding of athletic performance and to reduce sport injuries as well. mechanism analysis. digital filtering). tendon. electrical engineering (e. shell and bone) may be analysed with the theory of linear elasticity. because it often uses traditional engineering sciences to analyse biological systems. soft tissues (like skin. surface EMG) are common methods used in sports biomechanics. most notably mechanical engineering disciplines such as continuum mechanics. from the molecular all the way up to the tissue and organ levels. strain gauges). gait analysis (e.. animals.[4] Biomechanics is closely related to engineering. plants.[5] [edit] Sport biomechanics Main article: Sports biomechanics In sports biomechanics.[3] In Modern Greek... kinematics and dynamics play prominent roles in the study of biomechanics. such as humans.Biomechanics (from Ancient Greek: βίος "life" and μηχανική "mechanics") is the application of mechanical principles to biological systems. the corresponding term is εμβιομηχανική. Usually biological system are more complex than man-built systems. computer science (e. Subfields [edit] Plant biomechanics The application of biomechanical principles to plants and plant organs has developed into the subfield of plant biomechanics. This assumption breaks down when the length scales of interest approach the order of the micro structural details of the material.[2] The word biomechanics developed during the early 1970s. structural analysis. organs. [7] . Numerical methods are hence applied in almost every biomechanical study.g. In other words. On the other hand. the mechanical characteristics of these materials rely on physical phenomena occurring in multiple levels. Some simple applications of Newtonian mechanics and/or materials sciences can supply correct approximations to the mechanics of many biological systems. force platforms). Biomaterials are classified in two groups. The interest in continuum biomechanics is spurred by the need for realism in the development of medical simulation.[1] Perhaps one of the best definitions was provided by Herbert Hatze in 1974: "Biomechanics is the study of the structure and function of biological systems by means of the methods of mechanics".

Comparative biomechanics is often applied in medicine (with regards to common model organisms such as mice and rats) as well as in biomimetics. which looks to nature for solutions to engineering problems. When the diameter of the blood vessel is slightly larger than the diameter of the red blood cell the Fahraeus–Lindquist effect occurs and there is a decrease in wall shear stress. drag. though which factor predominates varies with environment. Common areas of investigation are Animal locomotion and feeding. blood flow can be modeled by the Navier-Stokes equations. has many manifestations. whether used to gain greater insights into humans (as in physical anthropology) or into the functions. Whole blood can often be assumed to be an incompressible Newtonian fluid. inertia. rub against each other.[edit] Comparative Biomechanics Chinstrap Penguin leaping over water. In this case. Locomotion requires energy to overcome friction. When the two surfaces come in contact during motion i. femoral component and tibial . as the diameter of the blood vessel decreases further. Comparative biomechanics is the application of biomechanics to non-human organisms. However. neurobiology. jumping and flying. the effects of individual red blood cells becomes significant. and whole blood can no longer be modeled as a continuum. and gravity. [edit] Biotribology The main aspects of tribology are related with friction. the inverse Fahraeus–Lindquist effect occurs and the wall shear stress increases. Animal locomotion. For example. wear and lubrication. developmental biology. ecology and adaptations of the organisms themselves. including running. to the extent of commonly publishing papers in the journals of these other fields. At this scale. wear and lubrication effects are very important to analyze in order to determine the performance of the material.[citation needed] Comparative biomechanics overlaps strongly with many other fields. friction. this assumption fails when considering flows within arterioles. the red blood cells have to squeeze through the vessel and often can only pass in single file. ethology.e. However. Biotribology is a study of friction. [edit] Biofluid mechanics Red blood cells Under most circumstances. as these have strong connections to the organism's fitness and impose high mechanical demands. wear and lubrication of biological systems especially human joints such as hips and knees. including ecology. and paleontology.

Circadian rhythms have been widely observed. If the performance of tibial component needs to be analyzed.[9] This is suggested by the maintenance (heritability) of circadian rhythms in fruit flies after several hundred generations in constant laboratory conditions. The fungus Neurospora. they are adjusted (entrained) to the environment by external cues called zeitgebers. another had a longer one. The formal study of biological temporal rhythms such as daily. Recent research has demonstrated that the circadian clock of Synechococcus elongatus can be reconstituted in vitro with just the three proteins of their central oscillator. Some features of the human circadian biological clock A circadian rhythm is an endogenously driven roughly 24-hour cycle in biochemical. the theory of contact mechanics also becomes very important for wear analysis. Circadian rhythm From Wikipedia. animals.[13] The same gene was identified to be defective in the sleep disorder FASPS (Familial advanced sleep phase syndrome) in human beings thirty years later. search "Circadian" redirects here. Previous explanations of the prokaryotic circadian timekeeper were dependent upon a DNA transcription/translation feedback mechanism. physiological. and the third had none. retains this clock-regulated mechanism. This clock has been shown to sustain a 22-hour rhythm over several days upon the addition of ATP. In 1971. Three mutant lines of flies displayed aberrant behaviour: one had a shorter period. underscoring the conserved nature of the molecular circadian . see Circadian (album). the principles of biotribology are used to determine the wear performance of the implant and lubrication effects of synovial fluid. tidal. All three mutations mapped to the same gene. or behavioural processes. which exists today. Circadian rhythms allow organisms to anticipate and prepare for precise and regular environmental changes. seasonal. with the purpose of protecting the replicating of DNA from high ultraviolet radiation during the daytime. The rhythmicity appears to be as important in regulating and coordinating internal metabolic processes. as in coordinating with the environment. Photosensitive proteins and circadian rhythms are believed to have originated in the earliest cells. and annual rhythms is called chronobiology. which was named "period". meaning "around". As a result. Although circadian rhythms are endogenous ("built-in". self-sustained). replication was relegated to the dark. weekly. the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation. in plants. Konopka and Seymour Benzer first identified a genetic component of the biological clock using the fruit fly as a model system. fungi and cyanobacteria (see bacterial circadian rhythms). they have great value in relation to the outside world. the primary one of which is daylight.component of knee implant rub against each other during daily activity such as walking or stair climbing. and by the experimental elimination of behavioural but not physiological circadian rhythms in quail. For the 5th Projekt album. meaning "day". In addition.[11][12] The simplest known circadian clock is that of the prokaryotic cyanobacteria. The term "circadian" comes from the Latin circa. and diem or dies. Ronald J.[10] as well as in creatures in constant darkness in the wild.

[18] Recent research has influenced the design of spacecraft environments. the physiological reaction of organisms to the length of day or night. in these circumstances. or neurotransmitter rhythms. it is cell-autonomous. different cells may communicate with each other resulting in a synchronised output of electrical signaling. cell regeneration and other biological activities. kept in total darkness for extended periods eventually function with a freerunning rhythm. thirst.clock through evolution. and appetite are coordinately controlled by the biological clock. the information of the time of the day as relayed by the eyes travels to the clock in the brain. In one study of reindeer. Each "day".[15] ” [edit] Impact of light–dark cycle The rhythm is linked to the light–dark cycle. not entrained to the 24-hour light–dark cycle in nature. their sleep cycle is pushed back or forward. for example. brain wave activity. their photoreceptors (detect light) are still functional. including human beings.[14] At the same time. It is now known that the molecular circadian clock can function within a single cell. clocks in the rest of the body may be synchronised. as systems that mimic the light–dark cycle have been found to be highly beneficial to astronauts. winter. hormonal. Reindeer at 78 degrees North showed such rhythms only autumn and spring. CNS electrical. including humans. Many more genetic components of the biological clock are now known. and spring. and. The sleep–wake rhythm may. is vital to both plants and animals. "time-givers").e.) are able to maintain their endogenous clocks in the apparent absence of external stimuli. hormone production. reindeer) show circadian rhythms only in the parts of the year that have daily sunrises and sunsets.. animals at 70 degrees North showed circadian rhythms in the autumn. The researchers suspect that other Arctic animals as well may not show circadian rhythms in the constant light of summer and the constant dark of winter. as well. Although they lack image-forming eyes. body temperature.[citation needed] [edit] Arctic animals Norwegian researchers at the University of Tromsø have shown that some Arctic animals (ptarmigan. In addition. and the circadian system plays a role in the measurement and interpretation of day length. The environmental cues that reset the rhythms each day are called zeitgebers (from the German. depending on whether their endogenous period is shorter or longer than 24 hours. sleep/wake. Although not the only parameter. but the rhythm is. There are also clear patterns of core body temperature. but not in the summer. The receptors for these hormones may be located far across the body and synchronise the peripheral clocks of various organs. photoperiodism.[16] It is interesting to note that totallyblind subterranean mammals (e. become out of phase with other circadian or ultradian rhythms such as metabolic. the changing length of the photoperiod ('daylength') is the most predictive environmental cue for the seasonal timing of physiology and behavior. Thus.g. they do surface periodically.. of course. i. This is how the timing of. Their interactions result in an interlocked feedback loop of gene products resulting in periodic fluctuations that the cells of the body interpret as a specific time of the day.[19][20] . Animals. hibernation and reproduction. These may interface with endocrine glands of the brain to result in periodic release of hormones. food availability or predator activity is crucial for survival of many species. through that.[17] Freerunning organisms that normally have one or two consolidated sleep episodes will still have them when in an environment shielded from external cues. [edit] Importance in animals Circadian rhythmicity is present in the sleeping and feeding patterns of animals. blind mole rat Spalax sp. A great deal of research on biological clocks was done in the latter half of the 20th century. most notably for timing of migration. “ Timely prediction of seasonal periods of weather conditions.

but rapidly degrades in light to produce Cry1. and fragrance emission. and nutrient availability. Plant circadian rhythms tell the plant what season it is in and when to flower for the best chance of attracting insects to pollinate them and can include leaf movement. When CCA1 and LHY are overexpressed (under constant light or dark conditions) plants become arrhythimcal and mRNA signals reduce contributing to a negative feedback loop. Cryptochromes 1–2 (involved in blue–UVA) help to maintain the period length in the clock through a whole range of light conditions. From past observations and studies. so that the internal time matches the local time. Anticipation of changes in the environment changes the physiological state that provides plants with an adaptive advantage. another study in northern Alaska found that ground squirrels and porcupines strictly maintained their circadian rhythms through 82 days and nights of sunshine. and.[24] Circadian rhythms occur as a biological rhythm with light. enzyme activity. is the main phytochrome in darkgrown seedlings.However. LHY and CCA1 are considered negative elements due to its repression against TOC1 in the morning while TOC1 is considered a positive element because it results in increased transcription of LHY and CCA1 during the evening because of its accumulation. a sufficient signal to adjust by. it is hypothesised that these three components model a negative feedback loop in . The researchers speculate that these two small mammals see that the apparent distance between the sun and the horizon is shortest once a day. phyA. Light is the signal and is sensed by a wide variety of photoreceptors. Circadian rhythms feature a transcriptional feedback loop. The cryptochrome (cry) gene is also a light-sensitive component of the circadian clock. and to secure against massive losses due to weather. germination. are endogenously generated and self sustaining.[24][25] The central oscillator generates a self-sustaining rhythm and is made of two genes: CCA1 (Circadian and Clock Associated 1) and LHY (Late Elongated Hypocotyl) that encode closely related MYB transcription factors that regulate circadian rhythms in Arabidopsis.[22][23] [edit] In plants Diagram showing a small portion of the transcriptional feedback loop in Arabidopsis. Phytochromes B–E are more stable with phyB the main phytochrome in light-grown seedlings. photosynthetic activity. thus. and are relatively constant over a range of ambient temperatures. and several photoreceptors that fine-tune the clock to different light conditions. Clocks are set through signals such as light.[25] A better understanding of plant circadian rhythms has applications in agriculture such as helping farmers stagger crop harvests thus extending crop availability.[21] [edit] Butterfly migration The navigation of the fall migration of the Eastern North American monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) to their overwintering grounds in central Mexico uses a time-compensated sun compass that depends upon a circadian clock in their antennae. growth. a presence of PAS proteins. CCA1 and LHY expression oscillates and peaks in early morning while TOC1 oscillates and peaks in early evening. One phytochrome. stomatal/gas exchange. Red and blue light are absorbed through several phytochromes and cryptochromes. temperature.

The primary circadian "clock" in mammals is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (or nuclei) (SCN). Secretion of melatonin peaks at night and ebbs during the day and its presence provides information about night-length. Destruction of the SCN results in the complete absence of a regular sleep–wake rhythm. the pineal secretes the hormone melatonin. The SCN receives information about illumination through the eyes. a tiny structure shaped like a pine cone and located on the epithalamus. But the retina also contains specialized ganglion cells which are directly photosensitive. they maintain their own rhythm in the absence of external cues. leading to the SCN. a pair of distinct groups of cells located in the hypothalamus. However. interprets it.65-hour cycle (the latter being the natural solar day-night cycle on the planet Mars). In response. The SCN takes the information on the lengths of the day and night from the retina. and project directly to the SCN where they help in the entrainment of this master circadian clock. These cells contain the photopigment melanopsin and their signals follow a pathway called the retinohypothalamic tract. The retina of the eye contains "classical" photoreceptors ("rods" and "cones").[25] [edit] Biological clock in mammals Diagram illustrating the influence of light and darkness on circadian rhythms and related physiology and behaviour through the suprachiasmatic nucleus in humans. the nature and system-level significance of this feedback are unknown. which are used for conventional vision. Researchers at Harvard have recently shown that human subjects can at least be entrained to a 23. and passes it on to the pineal gland. If cells from the SCN are removed and cultured.[28] . Several studies have indicated that pineal melatonin feeds back on SCN rhythmicity to modulate circadian patterns of activity and other processes.5-hour cycle and a 24.which over-expressed CCA1 and LHY repress TOC1 and over-expressed TOC1 is a positive regulator CCA1 and LHY.[26] [edit] Determining the human circadian rhythm The classic phase markers for measuring the timing of a mammal's circadian rhythm are: • • • melatonin secretion by the pineal gland core body temperature[27] plasma level of cortisol. The circadian rhythms of humans can be entrained to slightly shorter and longer periods than the Earth's 24 hours.

[30] Though oscillators in the skin respond to light. They found that both sleep offset and melatonin offset were more strongly correlated with the various phase markers than sleep onset. called peripheral oscillators. liver cells. In addition. spleen. resembling an image of a bright sky. These blue wavelengths are present in virtually all light sources. liver.For temperature studies. and found that "methods using plasma melatonin data may be considered more reliable than methods using CBT or cortisol data as an indicator of circadian phase in humans.[33] light coming from above. the declining phase of the melatonin levels was more reliable and stable than the termination of melatonin synthesis. Benloucif et al. Cells from many parts of the body appear to have freerunning rhythms. for example.[29] A third marker of the human pacemaker is the timing of the maximum plasma cortisol level. Klerman et al. Its major metabolite can also be measured in morning urine."[28] [edit] Outside the "master clock" More-or-less independent circadian rhythms are found in many organs and cells in the body outside the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN).m. These clocks.). in Quebec in 1997 used this method in a study that confirmed the frequently found delayed circadian phase in healthy adolescents. [edit] Light and the biological clock Light resets the biological clock in accordance with the phase response curve (PRC). dim-light melatonin onset (DLMO). at about 21:00 (9 p. about two hours before habitual wake time.[27] One method used for measuring melatonin offset is to analyse a sequence of urine samples throughout the morning for the presence of the melatonin metabolite 6-sulphatoxymelatonin (aMT6s). According to some researchers[33] the illumination intensity that excites the circadian system has to reach up to 1000 lux striking the retina. newer research indicates that the melatonin offset may be the more reliable marker. in Chicago in 2005 found that melatonin phase markers were more stable and more highly correlated with the timing of sleep than the core temperature minimum. wavelength (or colour) of light is a factor in the entrainment of the body clock. and the skin. .m. the "master clock". therefore their elimination requires special lights or filters which appear amber. thymus. in 2002 compared cortisol and temperature data to eight different analysis methods of plasma melatonin data. In addition to light intensity. Melatonin is absent from the system or undetectably low during daytime.) can be measured in the blood or the saliva.[31][32] There is also some evidence that the olfactory bulb and prostate may experience oscillations when cultured. Both the PRC and the required illuminance vary from species to species and lower light levels are required to reset the clocks in nocturnal rodents than in humans. Laberge et al. has greater effect than light entering our eyes from below. Melanopsin is most efficiently excited by light from the blue part of the spectrum (420–440 nm[34] according to some researchers while others have reported 470–485 nm). Its onset in dim light. are found in the oesophagus. However. subjects must remain awake but calm and semi-reclined in near darkness while their rectal temperatures are taken continuously. Lighting levels that affect the circadian rhythm in humans are higher than the levels usually used in artificial lighting in homes. lungs. suggesting that these structures may also be weak oscillators. Both DLMO and the midpoint (in time) of the presence of the hormone in the blood or saliva have been used as circadian markers. light can advance or delay the circadian rhythm. a systemic influence has not been proven so far. appear to respond to feeding rather than to light. pancreas. It is thought that the direction of the light may have an effect on entraining the circadian rhythm. Depending on the timing. though variation is great among normal chronotypes. The average human adult's temperature reaches its minimum at about 05:00 (5 a. Furthermore.

at Harvard found the range for normal. healthy adults of all ages to be quite narrow: 24 hours and 11 minutes ± 16 minutes. To live on the 28-hour day and six-day week would require staying awake for 19 to 20 hours and sleeping for eight to nine hours. for a total of 30 minutes for five days. . Early investigators determined the human circadian period to be 25 hours or more. in constant dim light and with other time cues suppressed. The research showed that students who experience disruption in lighting schemes in the morning consequently experience disruption in sleeping patterns. as it was thought at that time that a couple of 60W bulbs would not have a resetting effect on the circadian rhythms of humans.[36] Researchers allowed subjects to keep electric lighting on in the evening. on performance and well-being. Each "day" on this system has a unique light/dark pattern. (Discuss) Timing of medical treatment in coordination with the body clock may significantly increase efficacy and reduce drug toxicity or adverse reactions.[44] A short nap during the day does not affect circadian rhythms.[35] [edit] Enforced longer cycles Modern research under very controlled conditions has shown the human period for adults to be just slightly longer than 24 hours on average. Czeisler et al. consequently.[37] It builds on the fact that the week of seven days at 24 hours and a "week" of six days at 28 hours both equal a week of 168 hours.According to a 2010 study completed by the Lighting Research Center. Studies by Nathaniel Kleitman[38] in 1938 and by Derk-Jan Dijk and Charles Czeisler[39][40] in 1994/5 have put human subjects on enforced 28-hour sleep–wake cycles. for over a month.[43] The subjects were allowed to turn on light when they were awake and to turn it off when they wanted to sleep. The change in sleeping patterns may lead to negatively impacted student performance and alertness.[42] Early research into circadian rhythms suggested that most people preferred a day closer to 25 hours when isolated from external stimuli like daylight and timekeeping. this is referred to as a forced desynchrony protocol.18 hours and researchers are allowed to assess the effects of circadian phase on aspects of sleep and wakefulness including sleep latency and other functions. daylight has a direct effect on circadian rhythms and. The "clock" resets itself daily to the 24-hour cycle of the Earth's rotation. that indoor lighting does affect circadian rhythms and that most people attain their best-quality sleep during their chronotype-determined sleep periods. For example. Electric light in the evening delayed their circadian phase. Sleep and wake episodes are uncoupled from the endogenous circadian period of about 24. These results became well-known.[36] The 28-hour day is presented as a concept of time management. Removing circadian light in the morning delays the dim light melatonin onset by 6 minutes a day. appropriately timed treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) may reduce nocturnal blood pressure and also benefit left ventricular (reverse) remodelling. which averages just over 24 hours. Human health It has been suggested that Sleep architecture be merged into this article or section. They went to great lengths to shield subjects from time cues and daylight. Because normal people cannot entrain to a 28-hour day[41] in dim light if at all. More recent research has shown that adults have a built-in day. but they were not aware of the effects of indoor electric lights.

In addition. such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).[54][55] Disruption Disruption to rhythms usually has a negative effect. are associated with irregular or pathological functioning of circadian rhythms.[47] Circadian rhythms also play a part in the reticular activating system.[45][46] There are many health problems associated with disturbances of the human circadian rhythm. Recent research suggests that circadian rhythm disturbances found in bipolar disorder are positively influenced by lithium's effect on clock genes. who often traverse multiple timezones and regions of sunlight and darkness in one day.[48] azotemia or acute renal failure.[59][60] Moreover. particularly in the development or exacerbation of cardiovascular disease. a power-nap. they are often unable to maintain sleep patterns that correspond to the natural human circadian rhythm.[58] Effect of drugs Circadian rhythms and clock genes expressed in brain regions outside the SCN may significantly influence the effects produced by drugs such as cocaine. does not have any measurable effect on normal circadian rhythms. which is crucial for maintaining a state of consciousness.[61] . a reversal in the sleep–wake cycle may be a sign or complication of uremia. The NTSB cites this situation as a contributing factor to many accidents[53] and has conducted multiple research studies in order to find methods of combating fatigue in pilots.[49][50][51][52] Circadian rhythm and airline pilots Due to the work nature of airline pilots.[57] The suppression of melatonin production associated with the disruption of the circadian rhythm may increase the risk of developing cancer. delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) and other circadian rhythm disorders. Studies have also shown that light has a direct effect on human health because of the way it influences the circadian rhythms. with its associated symptoms of fatigue.[56] Disruption to rhythms in the longer term is believed to have significant adverse health consequences on peripheral organs outside the brain.A number of studies have concluded that a short period of sleep during the day. and spend many hours awake both day and night. genetic manipulations of clock genes profoundly affect cocaine's actions. Many travellers have experienced the condition known as jet lag. for example bipolar disorder and some sleep disorders. A number of other disorders. disorientation and insomnia. this situation can easily lead to fatigue. but can decrease stress and improve productivity.

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