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Rhythms of Life: The Biological Clocks That Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thingby Russell G. Foster
"In their wonderful book, Russell G. Foster and Leon Kreitzman tell us that while our ability to measure time has improved over the ages, we have nevertheless 'been steadily losing a battle with time. Instead of controlling our modern clocks, they control us.'" Oren Harman, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)
Synopses & Reviews
Why cant teenagers get out of bed in the morning? How do bees tell the time? Why do some plants open and close their flowers at the same time each day? Why do so many people suffer the misery of jet lag? In this fascinating book, Russell Foster and Leon Kreitzman explain the significance of the biological clock, showing how it has played an essential role in evolution and why it continues to play a vitally important role in all living organisms.
The authors tell us that biological clocks are embedded in our genes and reset at sunrise and sunset each day to link astronomical time with an organisms internal time. They discuss how scientists are working out the clockwork mechanisms and what governs them, and they describe how organisms measure different intervals of time, how they are adapted to various cycles, and how light coordinates the time within to the external world. They review problems that can be caused by malfunctioning biological clocks—including jet lag, seasonal affective disorder, and depression. And they warn that although new drugs are being promoted to allow us to stay awake for longer periods, a 24/7 lifestyle can have a harmful impact on our health, both as individuals and as a society.
How do bees tell the time? Why do some plants open and close their flowers at the same time each day? Why do so many people suffer the misery of jet lag? This intriguing book explains the significance of the biological clock, showing its essential role in evolution and why it continues to play an important role in all living organisms. "Fascinating. . . . Show[s] how . . . circadian rhythms influence far more than our sleep . . . [and] traces the century-long quest to unravel their mechanism, with some startling outcomes."--Anne Underwood, "Newsweek " "The writing is clean, clever, and . . . evocative . . . .What I loved most about this book is how clearly it highlights the body's incontrovertible allegiance to the daily and seasonal rhythms around it."--Anthony Doerr, "Boston Sunday Globe "" ""Biology buffs will marvel at the fascinating material, and medical professionals should put [this] at the top of their must-read lists.""--Publishers Weekly "
About the Author
Russell Foster is professor of molecular neuroscience at Imperial College, London, and is a leading expert on chronobiology. Leon Kreitzman, a writer and broadcaster, is the author of The 24 Hour Society.
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