Biorhythms-unavoidable variables?

Helga Høgåsen
Norwegian College of Veterinary Medicine, Oslo, Norway

Rhythmic phenomena exist in all living organisms, from unicellular organisms to human being. These may strongly influence results obtained in all fields of experimental or applied biology and medicine. Most biorhythms are of endogenous nature, thus persist even under constant environmental conditions. However, in contrast to random variables, they are rhythmic in nature and therefore, to some extent, predictable. Moreover, their rhythm may be timed by environmental cues such as light, temperature, sounds, social interactions, food and water availability. Therefore, the proper control of the environment of laboratory animals may help reducing the variability between different animals or experiments. Biorhythms should therefore be considered as unavoidable variables although, to some extent, controllable ones.
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