Neuroscience

Novel technique helps explain why bright light keeps us awake

In recent decades, scientists have learned a great deal about how different neurons connect and send signals to each other. But it's been difficult to trace the activity of individual nerve fibers known as axons, some of ...

Medical research

Scientists find timekeepers of gut's immune system

As people go through their daily and nightly routines, their digestive tracts follow a routine, too: digesting food and absorbing nutrients during waking hours, and replenishing worn-out cells during sleep. Shift work and ...

Medical research

Room for improvement in drug dosage timing in hospitals

Too many hospitals provide medications according to the practicalities of their staffing schedules rather than the ideal dosing times for their patients, according to a new study led by experts at Cincinnati Children's.

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Circadian rhythm

A circadian rhythm is a roughly-24-hour cycle in the biochemical, physiological or behavioral processes of living entities, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria (see bacterial circadian rhythms). The term "circadian", coined by Franz Halberg, comes from the Latin circa, "around," and diem or dies, "day", meaning literally "approximately one day." The formal study of biological temporal rhythms such as daily, tidal, weekly, seasonal, and annual rhythms, is called chronobiology.

Circadian rhythms are endogenously generated, and can be entrained by external cues, called Zeitgebers, the primary one of which is daylight. These rhythms allow organisms to anticipate and prepare for precise and regular environmental changes.

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