Rhythm and Clues: Chronobiology
Ira Pastor ideaXme longevity and aging Ambassador and founder of Bioquark interviews Dr. Germaine Cornelissen-Guillaume, Professor University of Minnesota who leads research in the area of Chronomics.
Ira Pastor comments:
Recently, we’ve spent time exploring the different hierarchical levels of the health, disease, and aging process. We’ve discovered that biological aging is an extremely complex process that is controlled by a series of nested hierarchies that expand from the very small (your genes, proteins, gene regulatory networks) on up through more complex cell, tissue and organ physiological regulatory networks. Then into the organisms complex internal, external micro environment where we’ve talked about both the micro-biome and macro-biome.
One area as yet to be fully explored, is the area of what I refer to as the complex cosmo-biologic dynamics that effect our health and wellness. When I refer to cosmo-biologic dynamics, I refer to the increasing amount of evidence in the scientific literature as to how major cosmic-level factors (big things) affect all parts of our biology and health factors. This list includes gravity (most recently popularised by the Kelly twins gene expression differences, after Scott Kelly returned from several months on international space station), to the earth’s natural electromagnetic field, to sound (acoustics), light (solar and lunar cycles), time itself and the fascinating evolving field of chrono-biology, explored in this episode of the ideaXme show.
Chronobiology is a field of biology that examines periodic (cyclic) phenomena in living organisms. These cycles are broadly known as biological rhythms. The more well-known of these is the circadian rhythm, defined as any biological process that displays an endogenous, entrainable oscillation of about 24 hours. Circadian rhythms are seen across the biologic kingdom in plants, animals, fungi, and cyanobacteria, although there are many other types of rhythms of different durations (tidal, weekly, seasonal, and annual rhythms) and also rhythms at the cosmic scale which may extend hundreds to thousands of years.
The related terms chronomics and chronome are used to describe the complex molecular mechanisms involved in chronobiological phenomena And rhythms show up everywhere in our physiology. The most obvious one to all of us is of course sleep, but we see such rhythms across our biologic archictecture from secretion levels of various hormones, to blood pressure modulation, to body temperature fluctuations, to suppression of urine and bowel function, even down to the level of gene oscillations and the recent discoveries some genes are expressed more during certain hours of the day than during other hours.
This is all extremely important in the way we look at disease and health and how we try to intervene in various disease states from heart disease, to diabetes, to cancer.
Dr. Germaine Cornelissen-Guillaume
Today we talk with Dr. Germaine Cornelissen-Guillaume, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology (IBP), Halberg Chronobiology Center, The University of Minnesota. With a PhD, University of Brussels (Physics), Dr Cornelissen-Guillaume has researched this unique discipline since 1975, publishing extensive amount of scientific papers on these dynamics and is clearly a major thought leader in the space.
Today Dr. Cornelissen-Guillaume tells us about:
Her background. How she became interested in science; in physics, and how she finds herself at the epicenter of the exciting area of chrono-biology. The importance of sleep and health. The connection of chrono-biology to various diseases. Applications of potential chrono-therapies. The Chronobiology of aging. Towards the end of the show Dr Germaine Cornelissen-Guillaume also tells us whom she would like to meet and why.
Credits: Ira Pastor interview video, text, and audio.
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