Saturday, 25 June 2016

circadian rhythm

Writing for Æon magazine, Jessa Gamble posits that chronotherapies may be the next leap in healthcare and offer more focused and less intrusive (in terms of spill over and mission-creep) options for healing and preventative medicine. Clearly, judged by personal experience, our biologies resist synchronising with the pace and step of modern worlds and time pressures that mean little to our bodies and psyches but nonetheless exact a great toll on both.
Better coordination can ensure that our bodies and our schedules are not at cross-purposes. The thoroughgoing and lucid essay, with the primary prescription being to know thyself and that we fortunately are not usually able to outsmart our bodies, ought to be appreciated in its entirety, but the idea of internal (and internalised) versus external chronologies is made immediately apparent by Gamble’s opening parable of her mutant hamsters: engineered to have their bodies’ clocks set to days foreshortened by four hours or so, they were dealt a mortal blow by the terminal jet-lag of living in a twenty-four hour a day environment. If the days of these not of this world hamsters—truly aliens whose diurnal journey around some hypothetical star at some middling orbit is different from ours, are set to their altered state, then the experimental hamsters happily thrive.