16Jan

How does body clock work?

Recently I have been reading a book called The Universe Within: The Deep History of the Human Body written by Neil Shubin. In one part of the book while Shubin talks about the process of time, he also gives examples of researchers whom gave their lifetime to understand the miraculous way of human body on adaptation to universal time in its system.

Human body, all the living organisms and even the rocks work aligned with the solar system’s metronome. They all have a similar calendar within. Depending on this similarity, scientists predict the age of the living organisms by looking at their DNA. In human body, cellular system has a mechanism within that works aligned with this overall system, which is called genetic clock. French young researcher called Michel Siffre lived for a month in a dark cage without any technology. During his stay, he realized that his sleeping time pattern has changed enormously accept an overall 24 hours regularity by looking at his diary entries. Years later a researcher called Curt Richer worked on laboratory mice for twenty years to understand the regular time patterns in human body. Richer has found out that a small group of cells behind eyes establishes the harmonious time patterns in human body. Mice whether blind or not were able to live normally with or without light but when the small set of cells behind their eyes removed their patterns have failed.

Eyes receive the light that organizes the molecular time in cells, goes to brain’s visual information interpreter to be transformed as signals. Signals are then defined by Richer’s small set of cellular group to be transformed into information by brain’s pineal gland and sent to whole body by melatonin to regulate sleep and wake hours. If there is a distinct sleeping disorder in a person, it would be connected to genetic disorders in that small set of cells behind eyes. Genetic researches made on flies by Seymour Benzer and Ranold Kanopka created some mutant flies in order to understand their evolution. All flies were normal in their evolution accept a special group. As they reviewed the molecular mechanism that sets the time pattern, they realized that the real functionality came from the body’s protein coordination. From this set of point, in order to look at the body clock they analyzed molecular reaction of clock within cells. When DNA is in its process it creates interactive proteins, when they go through cells with their assumed liability they reactivate DNA and helps to restart the whole process in a similar pattern. The speed in this port, created by a chemical transition similar to pendulum swings, makes the formation of body clock.

Martin Ralph has found that body clock disorders are genetic and can pass along from one generation to another by doing some researches on mice. In year 1990 a patient that stayed in a sleeping disorder clinic approved that result. Genetic sleeping disorders have changed forms from one family member to another. They did tests on members by looking at their DNA and protein levels.

Light forms most of our sleeping patterns in our daily life. In modern days artificial light affects our sleeping patterns and body clock. This affects our health enormously. Researchers has found that the ones that work at night and sleeps during the day carries most of heart attack and cancer risks, a specially breast cancer. Even our metabolism got affected by time pattern in cellular system so that recently many discussions has raised as obesity’s main reason to be sleeping disorders.

In conclusion, we can say that artificial light created by television, video games, computer, and cellular phones consumed at night would disorganize the system of our body clock.

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