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Biorhythm of growth

Biorhythm of growth

Investigating relationships between a newly discovered biological clock and childhood growth

Life on earth is regulated by biological clocks. One of these has a daily-circadian rhythm that regulates our sleep and is linked to aspects of human growth and health. Humans retain evidence of another biological clock that is much slower. It is mystery why the slow clock oscillates in this way.

Image of section showing the effect of the biorhythm in human teeth.

Thin section showing the effect of the biorhythm in human teeth. (Image by Patrick Mahoney)

This project aims to shed new light on differences in childhood growth by investigating the slower biological clock. We know from our research that this clock produces a biorhythm that is linked to final adult stature and tooth enamel thickness. We do not know how it relates to the growth of any tissue within children. We will combine histology and longitudinal observation with theoretical biology to determine if childhood growth is related to this biorhythm. Answering this question will establish new research pathways to investigate our species from unique developmental and evolutionary perspectives.

PI Dr Patrick Mahoney
Co-I Dr Carolina Loch (University of Otago), Dr Priscilla Bayle (University of Bordeaux), Prof Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg (The Ohio State University)

Project dates

Dr Bruce Floyd (University of Auckland)

January 2019 – January 2022