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Chronobiology is a field of solar- and lunar-related rhythms. These cycles are known as biological rhythms. Chronobiology comes from the ancient Greek χρόνος (chrónos, meaning "time"), and biology, which pertains to the study, or science, of life. The related terms chronomics and chronome have been used in some cases to describe either the molecular mechanisms involved in chronobiological phenomena or the more quantitative aspects of chronobiology, particularly where comparison of cycles between organisms is required.
Chronobiological studies include but are not limited to comparative
- Halberg Chronobiology Laboratory at the University of Minnesota, founded by Franz Halberg, the "Father of Chronobiology"
- The University of Virginia offers an online tutorial on chronobiology.
- See the Science Museum of Virginia publication Can plants tell time?
- The University of Manchester has an informative Biological Clock Web Site
- S Ertel's analysis of Chizhevsky's work
- Hastings, Michael, "The brain, circadian rhythms, and clock genes". Clinical review" BMJ 1998;317:1704-1707 19 December.
- U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, "Biological Rhythms: Implications for the Worker". U.S. Government Printing Office, September 1991. Washington, DC. OTA-BA-463. NTIS PB92-117589
- Ashikari, M., Higuchi, S., Ishikawa, F., and Tsunetsugu, Y., "Interdisciplinary Symposium on 'Human Beings and Environments': Approaches from Biological Anthropology, Social Anthropology and Developmental Psychology". Sunday, 25 August 2002
- "Biorhythm experiment management plan", NASA, Ames Research Center. Moffett Field, 1983.
- "Biological Rhythms and Human Adaptation to the Environment". US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (AMRMC), US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine.
- Ebert, D., K.P. Ebmeier, T. Rechlin, and W.P. Kaschka, "Biological Rhythms and Behavior", Advances in Biological Psychiatry. ISSN 0378-7354
- Horne, J.A. (Jim) & Östberg, Olov (1976). A Self-Assessment Questionnaire to determine Morningness-Eveningness in Human Circadian Rhythms. International Journal of Chronobiology, 4, 97–110.
- Roenneberg, Till, Cologne (2010). Wie wir ticken – Die Bedeutung der Chronobiologie für unser Leben, Dumont, ISBN 978-3-8321-9520-5.
- The Linnean Society of London
- Patricia J. DeCoursey; Jay C. Dunlap; Jennifer J. Loros (2003). Chronobiology. Sinauer Associates Inc.
- Nelson RJ. 2005. An Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology. Sinauer Associates, Inc.: Massachusetts. Pg587.
- Refinetti, Roberto (2006). Circadian Physiology. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group. ISBN 0-8493-2233-2. Lay summary
- Leon Kreitzman; Russell G. Foster (2004). Rhythms of life: the biological clocks that control the daily lives of every living thing. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press.
- Zivkovic, Bora (2006-07-03). "ClockTutorial #2a, Forty-Five Years of Pittendrigh's Empirical Generalizations". A Blog Around the Clock. ScienceBlogs. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- Zivkovic, Bora (2006-05-17). "Clocks in Bacteria V". A Blog Around the Clock. ScienceBlogs. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- Frank, D. W.; Evans, J. A.; Gorman, M. R. (2010). "Time-Dependent Effects of Dim Light at Night on Re-Entrainment and Masking of Hamster Activity Rhythms". Journal of Biological Rhythms 25 (2): 103–112.
- Fuller, Patrick M.; Jun Lu; Clifford B. Saper (2008-05-23). "Differential Rescue of Light- and Food-Entrainable Circadian Rhythms" (free abstract). Science 320 (5879): 1074–1077.
- Postolache, Teodor T. (2005). Sports Chronobiology, An Issue of Clinics in Sports Medicine. Saunders.
- Ernest Lawrence Rossi, David Lloyd (1992). Ultradian Rhythms in Life Processes: Inquiry into Fundamental Principles of Chronobiology and Psychobiology. Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. K.
- Hayes, D.K. (1990). Chronobiology: Its Role in Clinical Medicine, General Biology, and Agriculture. John Wiley & Sons.
- "Effects of circadian rhythm phase alteration on physiological and psychological variables: Implications to pilot performance (including a partially annotated bibliography)". NASA-TM-81277. "No evidence exists to support the concept of biorhythms; in fact, scientific data refute their existence."
- Bacterial circadian rhythms
- Circaseptan, 7-day biological cycle
- Sense of time
- Suprachiasmatic nucleus
- Alexander Chizhevsky
- Michel Siffre
- Biological clock (aging)
The notion of biorhythms, a classic example of pseudoscience, which attempts to describe a set of cyclic variations in human behavior based on physiological and emotional cycles, is not a part of chronobiology.
Chronobiology is an interdisciplinary field of investigation. It interacts with medical and other research fields such as sleep medicine, endocrinology, geriatrics, sports medicine, space medicine and photoperiodism.
There is also a food-entrainable biological clock, which is not confined to the suprachiasmatic nucleus. The location of this clock has been disputed. Working with mice, however, Fuller et al. concluded that the food-entrainable clock seems to be located in the dorsomedial hypothalamus. During restricted feeding, it takes over control of such functions as activity timing, increasing the chances of the animal successfully locating food resources.
In the second half of 20th century, substantial contributions and formalizations have been made by Europeans such as Jürgen Aschoff and Colin Pittendrigh, who pursued different but complementary views on the phenomenon of entrainment of the circadian system by light (parametric, continuous, tonic, gradual vs. nonparametric, discrete, phasic, instantaneous, respectively; see this historical article, subscription required).
Humans can be morning people or evening people; these variations are called chronotypes for which there are various assessment tools and biological markers.
More recently, light therapy and melatonin administration have been explored by Dr. Alfred J. Lewy (OHSU), Dr. Josephine Arendt (University of Surrey, UK) and other researchers as a means to reset animal and human circadian rhythms. Additionally, the presence of low-level light at night accelerates circadian re-entrainment of hamsters of all ages by 50%; this is thought to be related to simulation of moonlight.
. fruit flies and 
The 1960 symposium at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory laid the groundwork for the field of chronobiology.
A circadian cycle was first observed in the 18th century in the movement of plant leaves by the French scientist Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan (for a description of circadian rhythms in plants by de Mairan, Linnaeus, and Darwin see this page). In 1751 Swedish botanist and naturalist Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linné) designed a flower clock using certain species of flowering plants. By arranging the selected species in a circular pattern, he designed a clock that indicated the time of day by the flowers that were open at each given hour. For example, among members of the daisy family, he used the hawk's beard plant which opened its flowers at 6:30 am and the hawkbit which did not open its flowers until 7 am.
Within each cycle, the time period during which the process is more active is called the acrophase. When the process is less active, the cycle is in its bathyphase or trough phase. The particular moment of highest activity is the peak or maximum; the lowest point is the nadir. How high (or low) the process gets is measured by the amplitude.
- Infradian rhythms, which are cycles longer than a day, such as the annual migration or reproduction cycles found in certain animals or the human menstrual cycle.
- Ultradian rhythms, which are cycles shorter than 24 hours, such as the 90-minute REM cycle, the 4-hour nasal cycle, or the 3-hour cycle of growth hormone production.
- Tidal rhythms, commonly observed in marine life, which follow the roughly 12.4-hour transition from high to low tide and back.
- Lunar rhythms, which follow the lunar month (29.5 days). They are relevant e.g. for marine life, as the level of the tides is modulated across the lunar cycle.
- Gene oscillations – some genes are expressed more during certain hours of the day than during other hours.
Many other important cycles are also studied, including:
While circadian rhythms are defined as endogenously regulated, other biological cycles may be regulated by exogenous signals. In some cases, multi-trophic systems may exhibit rhythms driven by the circadian clock of one of the members (which may also be influenced or reset by external factors). The endogenous plant cycles may regulate the activity of the bacterium by controlling availability of plant-produced photosynthate.
- Diurnal, which describes organisms active during daytime
- Nocturnal, which describes organisms active in the night
- Crepuscular, which describes animals primarily active during the dawn and dusk hours (ex: white-tailed deer, some bats)
The circadian rhythm can further be broken down into routine cycles during the 24-hour day:
The variations of the timing and duration of biological activity in living organisms occur for many essential biological processes. These occur (a) in animals (eating, sleeping, mating, hibernating, migration, cellular regeneration, etc.), (b) in plants (leaf movements, Latin circa, meaning "around" and dies, "day", meaning "approximately a day." It is regulated by circadian clocks.
- Description 1
- History 2
- Recent developments 3
- Other fields 4
- See also 5
- References 6
- Further reading 7
- 8 External articles
Other aspects include development, reproduction, ecology and evolution.