Does total darkness or light alter the body clock?
Fruit fly experiments reveal persistent circadian rhythm
Will living in complete darkness or being in light for 24 hours for the rest of our lives affect our circadian rhythm (sleep–wake cycles)? Probably not, at least in the case of fruit flies.
Experiments carried out on 330 generations of drosophila (fruit flies) confirmed that circadian rhythm was persistent in flies that were kept in complete darkness or complete light 24 hours a day for over 19 years. This may be due to the intrinsic value of the body’s time-keeping system in coordinating our internal physiological functions.
This was the finding of a study by a group of scientists led by Prof. Vijay Kumar Sharma at the Chronobiology Lab (where study of the biological clock is carried out) at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru; Prof. Sharma passed away last year after the completion of the work.
Read more: The Hindu, September 10, 2017.
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