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Transdisciplinary unifying implications of circadian findings in the 1950s

Franz Halberg1*, Germaine Cornélissen1, George Katinas1, Elena V Syutkina2, Robert B Sothern1, Rina Zaslavskaya3, Francine Halberg1, Yoshihiko Watanabe4, Othild Schwartzkopff1, Kuniaki Otsuka5, Roberto Tarquini6, Perfetto Frederico6 and Jarmila Siggelova7

Author Affiliations

1 Halberg Chronobiology Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

2 Institute of Pediatrics, Scientific Center for Children's Health, Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia

3 Department of Cardiology, Hospital #60, Moscow, Russia

4 Tokyo Women's Medical University, Daini Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

5 Tokyo Women Medical University, School of Medicine, Daini Hospital, Division of Neurocardiology and Chronoecology, Nishiogu 2-1-10, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo 116-856, Japan

6 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Florence, Italy

7 Clinic of Functional Diagnostics and Rehabilitation, St. Anna Faculty Hospital and Masaryk University of Brno, Pekaská 53, 656 91, Brno, Czech Republic

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Journal of Circadian Rhythms 2003, 1:2  doi:10.1186/1740-3391-1-2

Published: 29 October 2003


A few puzzles relating to a small fraction of my endeavors in the 1950s are summarized herein, with answers to a few questions of the Editor-in-Chief, to suggest that the rules of variability in time complement the rules of genetics as a biological variability in space. I advocate to replace truisms such as a relative constancy or homeostasis, that have served bioscience very well for very long. They were never intended, however, to lower a curtain of ignorance over everyday physiology. In raising these curtains, we unveil a range of dynamics, resolvable in the data collection and as-one-goes analysis by computers built into smaller and smaller devices, for a continued self-surveillance of the normal and for an individualized detection of the abnormal. The current medical art based on spotchecks interpreted by reference to a time-unqualified normal range can become a science of time series with tests relating to the individual in inferential statistical terms. This is already doable for the case of blood pressure, but eventually should become possible for many other variables interpreted today only based on the quicksand of clinical trials on groups. These ignore individual differences and hence the individual's needs. Chronomics (mapping time structures) with the major aim of quantifying normalcy by dynamic reference values for detecting earliest risk elevation, also yields the dividend of allowing molecular biology to focus on the normal as well as on the grossly abnormal.