Your Many Inner Clocks

You have probably heard about our inner clocks called the circadian rhythms —

"You mean those bugs in North America that go zzzzzzzzzzzz up in the trees, Cowboy Bob?"

Uh, you may be thinking of periodical cicadas that appear at 13 or 17 year intervals, or the regular ones that are found in many parts of the world. I hear them in August for the most part. And I see you've distracted me again.

Our internal clocks are far more intricate than we ever could have imagined.
Credit: Pixabay / Wilfried Pohnke
We have the circadian rhythms inside us, sometimes waking us up before the alarm goes off. They get disrupted by jet lag and Daylight Savings Time, and some people compensate by taking an over-the-counter melatonin hormone supplement. We've heard about that inner clock. It's not found only in humans, and circadian rhythms are important for many life forms. See "We All Have Rhythm" for information about that.

I was surprised to learn that we have evolution-defying tiny timekeepers within us. These include communication networks between our metabolism and circadian rhythms. To read about this, take a look-see at "Your Body Talks to Itself". Things get even more interesting, if you can cognate that.

Time began at creation, when the Master Engineer set up 24-hour days, and so many life forms operate by that principle. You know that we have a master inner clock. More than that, there are trillions of little clocks inside us, regulator proteins, genetic switches, and more. Some jaspers will want to praise Darwin, but such specified complexity and intricate networks cannot be the product of time, chance, and random processes. You savvy?
But this central body clock is just the beginning of the amazing story. Humans, mice, and various animals not only have a centrally located master clock in their brains, but they also have many secondary (or “peripheral”) local clocks that run the different organs, tissues, and individual cells throughout their bodies. Moreover, just as a connected network of computers keep their times synced with a central server, the systems in your body keep their operations in perfect sync with the brain’s central clock. This amazing Creator-designed cellular communication unifies all the body parts and tissues in a systems-critical, time-based context.
Researchers are just beginning to unravel the indescribable complexity required to pull this off, and they are thoroughly amazed at what they are finding. In fact, scientists have now looked at many different tissues, including the kidneys, liver, and intestines, and in nearly every case they have found an independent clock that also takes cues from the hypothalamus.
As it turns out, almost every cell in the human body has a circadian clock. This enables each cell to figure out when to use energy, when to rest, when to make repairs, or when to divide and make more cells.
To read the entire article and this section in context (or download the audio version by my favorite reader), click on "A Time for Everything—Your Body’s Internal Clock".