Chronomics and "glocal" (combined global and local) assessment of human life

Kuniaki Otsuka, Germaine G Cornelissen-Guillaume, Tsering Norboo, Emiko Takasugi, Franz Halberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Most organisms, from cyanobacteria to mammals, are known to use circadian mechanisms to coordinate their activities with the natural 24-hour light/dark cycle and/or interacting socio-ecologic schedules. When the human clock gene was discovered in 1997, it was surprising to see that it was very similar in all earthly life. Recent findings suggest that organisms which evolved on Earth acquired many of the visible and invisible cycles of their habitat and/or of their cosmos. While circadian systems are well documented both time-macroscopically and time-microscopically, the temporal organization of physiological function is much more extensive. Long-term physiological quasi-ambulatory monitoring of blood pressure and heart rate, among other variables, such as those of the ECG and other tools of the neuroendocrinologic armamentarium, have already yielded information, among others, on circaseptan (about 7-day), transyears and cisyears (with periods slightly longer or shorter than one year, respectively), and circadecennian (about 10-year) cycles; the nervous system displays rhythms, chaos and trends, mapped as chronomes. Chronomes are time structures consisting of multifrequency rhythms covering frequencies over 18 orders of magnitude, elements of chaos, trends in chaotic and rhythmic endpoints, and other, as-yet unresolved variability. These resolvable time structures, chronomes, in us have counterparts around us, also consisting of rhythms, trends and chaos, as is increasingly being recognized. In 2000, we began a community-based study, relying on 7-day/24-hour monitoring of blood pressure as a public service. Our goal was the prevention of stroke and myocardial infarction and of the decline in cognitive function of the elderly in a community. Chronomic detection of elevated illness-risks aim at the prevention of diseases of individuals, such as myocardial infarctions and strokes, and, equally important, chronomics resolves illness of societies, such as crime and war, all exhibiting some already mapped cycles, that are indispensable for the study of underlying mechanisms. A variety of cognitive, neurobehavioral and neuropsychological as well as cardiovascular functions will need to be investigated to more precisely map their chronomes in space and time, in order to understand chronoastrobiology, based on both the system times and time horizons yielded by chronomes assessed in communities worldwide. Thus, we critically introduce a preventive health care, while keeping the flow of data for the assessment of space weather and its consequences in the evolution thus far of terrestrial life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-152
Number of pages19
JournalProgress of Theoretical Physics Supplement
Issue number173
StatePublished - 2008


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