The phrase "biological clock" has expanded from scientific observation to American slang. When we hear this phrase, many of us assume it refers to the amount of time left for a woman to start a family. For the scientist, the biological clock refers to a process that took millions of years to evolve – the conditioning of plants and animals by a light cycle that starts with dawn and ends with sunset.
The cycle of dawn and dusk changes with the seasons everywhere in the world (except at the equator, where there is always 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness). In order to compensate for the seasonal variations of light, mammals likely have an adjustable daily program under the regulation of a biological clock.
But how do mammals in the Arctic – which is characterized by months of full light followed by months of full darkness -- retain their sleep and awake habits in such unusual circumstances? After analyzing the reactions of certain mammals following 82 days of continuous daylight in the summer and 82 days of continuous darkness in the winter, a team of researchers may have begun to identify a clue.
Donna Krupa | EurekAlert!
Research team creates new possibilities for medicine and materials sciences
22.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent
22.01.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
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