Special Issue "Biological Clocks"
A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2018) | Viewed by 45332
Interests: circadian rhythms; sleep; photoreceptor biology; circadian entrainment; sleep disruption; neuroscience
There have been over a trillion dawns and dusks since life began some 3.8 billion years ago. During that time the earth’s daily rotation has slowed to a shade less than 24 hours. This predictable daily solar cycle results in regular and profound changes in environmental light, temperature and food availability. Almost all life on earth, including humans, employs an internal biological timer to anticipate these daily changes. The possession of some form of clock permits organisms to optimise physiology and behaviour in advance of the varied demands of the day/night cycle. Organisms effectively ‘know’ the time of day. Such internally generated daily rhythms are called “circadian rhythms” from the Latin circa (about) and dies (day). Despite the diversity of life on our planet there are many similarities in the way in which circadian rhythms are generated and synchronised to the solar cycle. There is a molecular feedback loop – the transcription-translation feedback loop (TTFL) – that underpins all these processes, and our understanding of this molecular clockwork provides the best example to date of how genes and their protein products interact to generate complex behaviour. The TTFL is invariably set or “entrained” to the solar day by specialized photoreceptors that detect the changes in environmental light. This special issue will explain how circadian rhythms are generated and regulated across the diversity of life on earth, why these rhythms are important in regulating physiology and behavior and what happens when these rhythms break-down in humans under conditions of disease and/or imposed environmental disruption such as shift-work and 24/7 life-styles.
Prof. Dr. Russell Foster
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- Biological Clocks
- Clock Genes
- Life on Earth
- Human Health
- 24/7 Life Styles