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Tick-tock, Biological clocks!Featured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was conducted to find out how the biological clocks of singles and couples adjust to changes in the environment. The science experiment involved shifting daylight hours for single hamsters and paired hamsters.

Hypothesis

Single hamsters adjust more quickly to changes in daylight.

Scientific Terms

Biological clock, blood pressure, body temperature and hormone secretions.

Background

Biological clocks

All of us lead our lives according to a biological clock. This applies to people, animals and yes, plants. Our biological clock tells us when we should rise, take our meals, perform our chores and go to bed. Our bodies become adjusted to these routines which become “programmed” into our biological clock.

This biological clock can also be reset as and when the need arises. This happens, for example, when we travel overseas to different time zones. What is seen by our eyes and what is felt by our bodies will not be in agreement. The normal rhythm of eating working and sleeping is disturbed and it may take a few days for the body to adjust to the new time zone/routine. Another example of resetting the biological clock is when a person works night shifts. They will cease their normal pattern and adjust their biological clocks to sleep in the day and work at night.

When experiencing jet lag or adjusting to new work shifts, a person may suffer from symptoms like being unable to sleep, loss of appetite, headaches or depression. This is because our biological clock has programmed our body to regulate our sleep times, food digestion, blood pressure levels, body temperatures and hormone secretions

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Complexity level:
7
Project cost ($):
40
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 10 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Hamsters may be purchased from a pet store
Safety concerns:

Wear gloves to prevent injury when handling the hamsters