Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Circadian Leaf Movements in Plants

The very first circadian rhythm ever observed was a rhythm of opening and closing of leaves of a mimosa plant. That was a couple of centuries ago (1729, to be exact), reported by astronomer de Mairan. Since then, many researchers, from Charles Darwin, through 19th century botanists Zinn and Hoffer, to 20th century chronobiologist Erwin Bunning, studied this rhythm.

Now, you can see three examples of such movements (check the three plant species on the left sidebar there) on a website that provides the movies. Cool, isn't it?

(hat-tip: Discovering biology in a digital world)

2 Comments:

Blogger chris said...

I have been an air cargo pilot for 27 years and thus have had a horrible sleep schedule for most of that period. I have been in very good health until about two years ago when I suddenly developed atrial fibrillation. we have numerous other pilots in similar straights and it is my opinion that this condition has been caused, at least partially by stress from sleep deprivation. The average person has no idea what it is like to routinely go 24 to 30 hours without sleep. The problem is that our schedules are intermittant. 2 or 3 days on several off, or often week on, week off. Recovery takes 3 to 4 days to feel reasonably normal. I was able to live with this up until my fifties, but then it becomes progressively more difficult.

3:36 PM  
Blogger coturnix said...

Pilot schedules are atrocious and really bad for one's health. It is only very recently that some companies started implementing more human-friendly schedules based on the suggestions by sleep specialists.

3:52 PM  

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