System times and time horizons for biospheric near-matches of primarily non-photic environmental cycles

Franz Halberg, Germaine G Cornelissen-Guillaume, George Katinas, Otto Appenzeller, Kuniaki Otsuka, Robert B. Sothern, Roberto Tarquini, Federico Perfetto, Cristina Maggioni, Douglas Wilson, Wilfried Schröder, Othild Schwartzkopff, Terry Kessler, Zhengrong Wang, Naoto Burioka, Yoshihiko Watanabe, Earl Bakken

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13 Scopus citations


System time is defined as the duration (T) and sampling density (Δt) of a given study. A time horizon is obtained by combining analytical results on endpoints of time structures (chronomes), usually on control groups, from accumulating diverse studies carried out with drastically different values of T and Δt. These two design considerations depend upon and are limited by resources. The desideratum of a small Δt e.g., for studies of chaotic endpoints, limits T, e.g., has thus far precluded a continuous mapping of decadal cycles in endpoints such as the approximate entropy or the correlation dimension. Time horizons are being documented for an increasing number of variables that undergo cycles with infra-annual frequencies - with one cycle in about one, two and/or five decades - in the biosphere as in the environment. These infra-annuals, in and around us, modulate ultra-annuals, including circadians, as well as about 7-day (circaseptan) and about half-yearly (circasemiannual) cycles, all prominent, e.g., in geophysical and biospheric specta. Neglect of infra-annual chronomics can lead to blunders. A statistically highly significant decrease in the excretion of steroidal metabolites (or in heart rate variability) may be misinterpreted as premature aging if it lasts for several years, and may be unnecessarily acted upon, e.g., by drugs. The decrease, however, may only be transient, occurring only during a given stage of a circadecadal cycle, and it may be followed for the next several years by an also spurious "rejuvenation", possibly misinterpreted as a drug effect. When recognized as the alternating stages of decadal cycles and assessed with an affordable Δt, infra-annuals of variables involved in major problems of our day, including homicides and wars, may lead us to manipulable internal or external mechanisms, and thus, eventually, possibly to countermeasures to crime and terror as well as to the optimization of aims such as spirituality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-272
Number of pages7
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Nov 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
aUniversity of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA bNMHEMC Research Foundation, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA cTokyo Women’s Medical University, Tokyo, Japan dUniversity of Florence, Italy eUniversity of Milan, Italy fADAS, Cardiff, Wales, UK gGeophysikalische Station, Bremen-Rönnebeck, Germany hWest China University of Medical Sciences, Chengdu, Sichuan, China iTottori University, Yonago, Japan jNorth Hawaii Community Hospital Inc., Kamuela, Hawaii, USA

Funding Information:
Support : U.S. National Institutes of Health (GM-13981)


  • Bacterial sectoring
  • Chronome maps (chronomics)
  • Eukariotic unicell
  • Striae of Retzius
  • Transdisciplinary time series


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