Biological Rhythms: History and Effects Essay examples

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Abstract: In this paper I will attempt to explain the nature of biological rhythms, their history, and their affect on the everyday workings of the human body and mind.

Biological rhythms, known also as circadian rhythms or the inner clock, pervade every aspect of human and animal life. Defined as "the biological clocks that regulate all animals, plants, and people, and that don't follow the artificial timing of the strict 24-hour solar/lunar day" ("Circadian Links", WWW 1996), biorhythms affect ordinary everyday activities in extraordinary ways. Even in the absence of light cues, human rhythms continue in remarkably stable patterns, and studies show that these patterns consistently fit to an average of a 25-hour day.
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Experiments in the early 1900's and 1950's proved that a biological clock exists within living organisms through further research on bees and starlings, both of which continued their daily patterns regardless of light cues. Most conclusionary evidence has suggested an inner clock that remains stable within all living beings.

Only more recent research has focused on human biological clocks, for the simple reason that human beings are much harder to effectively isolate than are other living creatures. Human experimentation involves the isolation of human beings from outside cues of light and time in order to observe their biological tendencies. This was most often historically achieved through the use of caves and later World War II bunkers. Most cave experiments were carried out by practiced and determined scientist, bent upon sacrificing their time and energy in the name of scientific research. The use of bunkers led to the creation of underground living quarters, where graduate students often used their isolated time to sleep and catch up on their studies. These quarters were constructed specifically to create a timeless environment for the inhabitants, and researchers observed the natural biological patterns of students as they went about their daily living. No adverse effects of such experimentation have been found.

Cave experimentation was the most primitive form of
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