He's watching nature's clock

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Do you have questions about what it’s like to be a biologist? Ask Van Gooch, and keep your eyes on Science Buzz for the answer!

“The most exciting thing about biology is that it DOES STUFF. I like trying to understand how organisms change with time. How even simple organisms keep time is amazing.”

Photo courtesy Van Gooch

There’s a sophisticated stopwatch ticking away inside all of us. It tells us when to be hungry or thirsty, when our bodies should become warmer or colder, when we should feel sleepy or alert.

Life forms ranging from simple, single-celled organisms to complex creatures like human beings rely on this internal clock to efficiently regulate the processes of the body.

Observing the internal clock’s functions, like periods of sleep or growth, can be simple enough, but figuring out exactly how it works can be more complicated. That’s where scientists like Van Gooch come in: he’s finding out what makes the biological clock tick.