Tag: circadian

  • How do animals perceive time?

    Good question Daniel from Gizmodo! Cavefish can ‘keep time’ via the circadian clock but whether they perceive it and what keeping time means when you’re underground is a mystery. Other researchers give more information in Daniel’s article: Gizmodo asks – How do animals perceive time?

  • Jet lag – the disadvantage of having a clock in the modern world

    Air travel challenges our bodies in a way that has never before been encountered in our evolutionary history. It allows us to move rapidly across multiple timezones, quicker than we could have ever moved by foot or animal. Unfortunately, our bodies are unable to adjust quickly enough. We are constrained by our circadian clocks, the things that give our bodies a […]

  • What can a blind cavefish tell us about circadian clocks?

    Circadian clocks and a revolving planet go hand-in-hand. But why so many plants and animals have a circadian clock from an evolutionary perspective is relatively unknown. One way to find out is to study animals that live in non-rhythmic environments. And at the end of 2013, my team published a study on exactly that: the […]

  • Presentiment – circadian clocks giving plants and animals a sense of time

    Presentiment is that long shadow on the lawn Indicative that suns go down; The notice to the startled grass That darkness is about to pass. Emily Dickinson Sometimes you find in literature beautiful expressions of technical terms that are otherwise dry and stuffy. Presentiment, by Emily Dickinson, is one of those beautiful expressions. Why did […]

  • Circadian clocks in the great outdoors

    We’re all aware of our natural body clock pattern: some people are early birds, some people are night owls, a phenomenon known as your chronotype. You can override this with alarm clocks and coffee, which is especially important for shift workers. But have you ever noticed your chronotype shift when you go on holiday, especially […]

  • Shifting your clock: shift work and the circadian clock

    To many people, the phenomenon known scientifically as the circadian rhythm is bleeding obvious. We sleep in the night and are awake during the day, long-haul flights like those from the UK to Australia gives you jetlag, and night shifts are a right pain in the bum. Detailed explanations involving transcription-translation feedback loops and phase […]

  • What is a circadian clock?

    Broadly speaking, the circadian clock is a cell and molecular feedback loop – inside the cell, a bunch of proteins that interact with genes and DNA, which in turn interact back with those original proteins. This cellular feedback loop controls those outward and apparent rhythms we are aware of, like jet lag and waking, as well […]