full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Dragana Rogulja: How artificial light affects our health

Unscramble the Blue Letters

In case you didn't know, 2015 is the International Year of Light. So, I thought I'd tell you just a little bit about the impact of light on our health. My lab uses fruit felis to study sleep and wake patterns, but what I want to talk tdoay is primarily light and its impact on health. So, of course, we live on this planet that spins around its axis as it's orbiting the Sun. As a consequence of that, one of the baisc facts of life on Earth is that you're exposed to light-dark clecys every single day. Here you see the side of the Earth that's facing the Sun, is light, and the other one is dark, and actually, I think we have so much lghit here that the dark side is kind of washed-out. But if the light was a little bit lower, you could see that there are lhitgs all over the pcales on Earth, at least where there's solid ground, just not above water. And that's maybe a little bit more claer from this picture which is a composite Google image of etrah from above, at night, and I think that this is a really stunning image. It's stnlunngiy beautiful, but it's also stunning to think about the amount of light that we're enveloping the Earth on, and, at the time of day when, for pretty much all of our evolutionary history, the Earth has been dark. There's this funny story that I don't know if it's true, but I like it, I think it's a good story, where in 1994, in LA, plocie started getting reports of people seeing a strange white cloud in the sky, and they didn't know what this was. They wondered if they should be worried. It turned out LA had just srffeeud a major earthquake which resulted in citywide blackouts. So, many people for the first time in many years, or perhaps the first time in their lives, had an unobstructed view of the night sky. In fact, what they were seeing was not a trail from some alien spaceship, but it was a glimpse of our own home gxaaly, the Milky Way. This may sound quite incredible to you until I show you this next picture. Here's a prituce that this guy, Todd Carlson, from Canada, took of his house, a fairly typical-looking house, a typical-looking sky, at least for those of us living in bosotn, or surrounding areas. You can even make out some stars in the sky. In 2003, there was a bkuoaclt that affected large parts of the United States and Canada, and Todd Carlson lost his electricity, and he was smart enough to take a picture of his house at that time, and this is what it looked like. And again, here you can see this strange, white cluod in the sky which is the mikly Way. The lights that we are producing as humans, due to our ingenuity, are wiping out, basically, our view of these millions of stars in the sky. So, if we think about that, this is certainly a shmae, because there are a few things that are more magnificent than a view of the night sky. But we should also think about what is this doing to our hatleh if we're flooding ourselves with this amount of light pollution? So I want to I tell you that all throughout your bodies, in all of your organs, you have biological clocks that keep you in sync with the light-dark cycles of your environment that result from the Earth's rotation. And in your heads you have a master clock, a main clock that synchronizes all of these other clocks in your bodies. The way that this works is that light travels from a source, such as the Sun, or an artificial light suroce, through your eyes, and that light inmrifootan is then conveyed to the brain, to the master clock that's in a part of your brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or the SCN. So in your eyes you of course have cells that help you see the stars, that help you form visible imagery. But you also have cells that are not a part of the visual-forming pathways, but rather their role is to capture light information and basically convey it to the brain, to tell the barin what time of day it is. So, how can I convince you that you have this clock? Well, if I closed you in a dark room where you would have no enaetrxl source of light, no aarlm clocks, no clocks of any kind, you would still retain rhythmic sleep and wake patterns at least for a little while, because your clock was previously trained to light-dark cycles and one of the main functions of the clock is to regulate behavioral rcttyhmiihy. This, of course, is not an experiment that many of you would be willing to subject yourselves to, but, fortunately, there's an experiment that most of us have participated in, which is tvnearilg across time zones. So, I like this quote that says, "When you travel from America to erpoue, your soul tkeas about three days lnoger to get there." And I know this is certainly true when I travel from here to Serbia, my home country. It does take me several days blaaiscly, to feel normal, to feel aligned with the population that's living there. And this is because your clock takes a few days to get realigned with this new schedule. And, if you think about this, this makes sense, right? So, for pretty much all of our history, except for a blink of an eye, in our enrulooativy history, nobody had a way of hopping from one continent to the other in a mettar of hours. We're changing time zones so quickly, and in this case, nature's not really keeping up with what we are cplabae of doing. So, what is this clock? And why is it ipntarmot to think about light? The clock is a molecular oscillator, the details here are not important at all, I don't want you to look at the nmeas of these things on the board, but I want to point out that the clock is essentially the same in animals such as fruit flies, which my lab uses in our studies, and in mammals like mice or humans. And the first glimpses of the clock, the components of the clock, and the way that it ticks were gieand in the fly, actually. What I want to stress here is that the clock is tuned by light. Some of the components of this clock are actually degraded, directly degraded by light. So, that results in the state of the clcok essentially oscillating throughout the day and night. You can imagine if the composition of the clock, if some of the cpntmnooes are degraded, the composition of the clock will change between day and night. And then the outputs of the clock between day and night will be different. So, for instance, during the day, the sttae of your clock is such that you are suppressing production of mtioelann, which is the hormone that helps you fall asleep, but also has other functions, such as anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. So light. Let's talk about blue light a little bit. When you're outside during the day, you're, of course, exposed to sunlight which consists of different wavelengths of light. But the one that's particularly important is blue light, because of its effect on our clock. Blue light also directly elevates your mood, it boosts your attention and your alertness. So blue light during the day is very, very good, and I'd say that most of us don't spend enough time in a bright light outside. You should be for 30 to 60 minutes outside in brghit light, so put some sunscreen on and go outside. The flip side of this is that when you come home at night I would dare guess that pretty much none of us snepd the rest of the day when we come home, in darkness, and we're not in tune with the natural light and dark cycles, right? So, what we do normally is we use our computers, sphtamrenos, tablets; we are in rooms that have high amounts of LED light. And, in particular, what's really bad is that these devices are very, very rich in blue light. So, what you're doing, every evening, when you're using these devices is you're essentially tricking your clock into thinking that it's still day. And since the clock during day and blue light suppress melatonin production, you're essentially doing that at nhigt. Now, I'm not naive enough to segsugt you never use your computer at night, I know I wouldn't abide by that. But one thing that you can do, is you can turn the brightness of your screen in the evening, you can download programs that filter some of the blue light or you can use glasses that bolck some of the blue light. I have a little bit of news for you that maybe you'll perceive as bad, but I think it's actually very good, which is that you are very much like these guys. So, this is a close-up of a fruit fly, and you may not like if I tell you that you are like these guys. But think about it for a second, this is very good for us because now we can use these almnais as a model system to understand more about sleep biology, and how light ineneulfcs our clock and our health, and this is what my lab is doing. So, they sleep just like we do, they sleep at night. If we deprive them of sleep, then they crash the next day during the time they would normally be active. If we deprive them of seelp for a long time, they die; so sleep is very important for them. The same genes that rteulage sleep in hunmas regulate sleep in flies. And when they're aeeslp they're disconnected, at least to a lrage degree, disconnected from their eeinrnnvomt, just like we are. So, if these guys are seeinlpg, you need a sntogrer ieintnsty sutulims to get them to react than when they're awake. So same thing that happens to you of course, when you're asleep. Two people in my lab: a postdoc, Iris Titos Vivancos and a PhD student, Michelle Frank, are asking exactly what is this barrier that's ehlstbeaisd in the brain that prevents sensor information from cmiong through during sleep? How can your same physical brain exist in two fundamentally different sttaes? So now we're eggnead, for instance, here I'm speaking to you, I'm engaged, I'm aware of you, of my surroundings, I'm aware of my iannterl state; but tonight when I go to sleep, I will be in a cmeloptley different state. And another thing that we're asking which is relevant to what I talked about, to light, is how light coming through the eye is regulating sleep and wake patterns? A PhD student in my lab, Bryan Song, is asking exactly this, What Bryan can do is, he can— you can see that flies have these big eyes that take up a large part of their head. What baryn can do is he can actually trick the cells in the eye into thinking they're seeing light, even when they're not. And this rlsuets in animals having trouble falling asleep, so it takes them about an hour and a half longer to fall asleep. You can imagine that now we can use this as a model organism to understand what it is that happens in the brain when it's getting light information and how this is ifrnaeinctg with sleep and wake ceterns in the brain. And so one final thing I want to tell you is well, first I want you to think again for a mmonet about our evolutionary history. We evolved without alarm clocks, without any external source of information of the time of day, and we've developed this way that keeps us in sync with our environment. But what we're exposing ourselves to every day now is very much interfering with that natural system, and I think it's really something to think about. So when people tell you that too much light exposure at night is not good, unfortunately, they are actually right. And the last thing I want to say is please support basic science, because this is important for all of us, and this is the way forward, I think. (alpasupe)

Open Cloze

In case you didn't know, 2015 is the International Year of Light. So, I thought I'd tell you just a little bit about the impact of light on our health. My lab uses fruit _____ to study sleep and wake patterns, but what I want to talk _____ is primarily light and its impact on health. So, of course, we live on this planet that spins around its axis as it's orbiting the Sun. As a consequence of that, one of the _____ facts of life on Earth is that you're exposed to light-dark ______ every single day. Here you see the side of the Earth that's facing the Sun, is light, and the other one is dark, and actually, I think we have so much _____ here that the dark side is kind of washed-out. But if the light was a little bit lower, you could see that there are ______ all over the ______ on Earth, at least where there's solid ground, just not above water. And that's maybe a little bit more _____ from this picture which is a composite Google image of _____ from above, at night, and I think that this is a really stunning image. It's __________ beautiful, but it's also stunning to think about the amount of light that we're enveloping the Earth on, and, at the time of day when, for pretty much all of our evolutionary history, the Earth has been dark. There's this funny story that I don't know if it's true, but I like it, I think it's a good story, where in 1994, in LA, ______ started getting reports of people seeing a strange white cloud in the sky, and they didn't know what this was. They wondered if they should be worried. It turned out LA had just ________ a major earthquake which resulted in citywide blackouts. So, many people for the first time in many years, or perhaps the first time in their lives, had an unobstructed view of the night sky. In fact, what they were seeing was not a trail from some alien spaceship, but it was a glimpse of our own home ______, the Milky Way. This may sound quite incredible to you until I show you this next picture. Here's a _______ that this guy, Todd Carlson, from Canada, took of his house, a fairly typical-looking house, a typical-looking sky, at least for those of us living in ______, or surrounding areas. You can even make out some stars in the sky. In 2003, there was a ________ that affected large parts of the United States and Canada, and Todd Carlson lost his electricity, and he was smart enough to take a picture of his house at that time, and this is what it looked like. And again, here you can see this strange, white _____ in the sky which is the _____ Way. The lights that we are producing as humans, due to our ingenuity, are wiping out, basically, our view of these millions of stars in the sky. So, if we think about that, this is certainly a _____, because there are a few things that are more magnificent than a view of the night sky. But we should also think about what is this doing to our ______ if we're flooding ourselves with this amount of light pollution? So I want to I tell you that all throughout your bodies, in all of your organs, you have biological clocks that keep you in sync with the light-dark cycles of your environment that result from the Earth's rotation. And in your heads you have a master clock, a main clock that synchronizes all of these other clocks in your bodies. The way that this works is that light travels from a source, such as the Sun, or an artificial light ______, through your eyes, and that light ___________ is then conveyed to the brain, to the master clock that's in a part of your brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or the SCN. So in your eyes you of course have cells that help you see the stars, that help you form visible imagery. But you also have cells that are not a part of the visual-forming pathways, but rather their role is to capture light information and basically convey it to the brain, to tell the _____ what time of day it is. So, how can I convince you that you have this clock? Well, if I closed you in a dark room where you would have no ________ source of light, no _____ clocks, no clocks of any kind, you would still retain rhythmic sleep and wake patterns at least for a little while, because your clock was previously trained to light-dark cycles and one of the main functions of the clock is to regulate behavioral ___________. This, of course, is not an experiment that many of you would be willing to subject yourselves to, but, fortunately, there's an experiment that most of us have participated in, which is _________ across time zones. So, I like this quote that says, "When you travel from America to ______, your soul _____ about three days ______ to get there." And I know this is certainly true when I travel from here to Serbia, my home country. It does take me several days _________, to feel normal, to feel aligned with the population that's living there. And this is because your clock takes a few days to get realigned with this new schedule. And, if you think about this, this makes sense, right? So, for pretty much all of our history, except for a blink of an eye, in our ____________ history, nobody had a way of hopping from one continent to the other in a ______ of hours. We're changing time zones so quickly, and in this case, nature's not really keeping up with what we are _______ of doing. So, what is this clock? And why is it _________ to think about light? The clock is a molecular oscillator, the details here are not important at all, I don't want you to look at the _____ of these things on the board, but I want to point out that the clock is essentially the same in animals such as fruit flies, which my lab uses in our studies, and in mammals like mice or humans. And the first glimpses of the clock, the components of the clock, and the way that it ticks were ______ in the fly, actually. What I want to stress here is that the clock is tuned by light. Some of the components of this clock are actually degraded, directly degraded by light. So, that results in the state of the _____ essentially oscillating throughout the day and night. You can imagine if the composition of the clock, if some of the __________ are degraded, the composition of the clock will change between day and night. And then the outputs of the clock between day and night will be different. So, for instance, during the day, the _____ of your clock is such that you are suppressing production of _________, which is the hormone that helps you fall asleep, but also has other functions, such as anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. So light. Let's talk about blue light a little bit. When you're outside during the day, you're, of course, exposed to sunlight which consists of different wavelengths of light. But the one that's particularly important is blue light, because of its effect on our clock. Blue light also directly elevates your mood, it boosts your attention and your alertness. So blue light during the day is very, very good, and I'd say that most of us don't spend enough time in a bright light outside. You should be for 30 to 60 minutes outside in ______ light, so put some sunscreen on and go outside. The flip side of this is that when you come home at night I would dare guess that pretty much none of us _____ the rest of the day when we come home, in darkness, and we're not in tune with the natural light and dark cycles, right? So, what we do normally is we use our computers, ___________, tablets; we are in rooms that have high amounts of LED light. And, in particular, what's really bad is that these devices are very, very rich in blue light. So, what you're doing, every evening, when you're using these devices is you're essentially tricking your clock into thinking that it's still day. And since the clock during day and blue light suppress melatonin production, you're essentially doing that at _____. Now, I'm not naive enough to _______ you never use your computer at night, I know I wouldn't abide by that. But one thing that you can do, is you can turn the brightness of your screen in the evening, you can download programs that filter some of the blue light or you can use glasses that _____ some of the blue light. I have a little bit of news for you that maybe you'll perceive as bad, but I think it's actually very good, which is that you are very much like these guys. So, this is a close-up of a fruit fly, and you may not like if I tell you that you are like these guys. But think about it for a second, this is very good for us because now we can use these _______ as a model system to understand more about sleep biology, and how light __________ our clock and our health, and this is what my lab is doing. So, they sleep just like we do, they sleep at night. If we deprive them of sleep, then they crash the next day during the time they would normally be active. If we deprive them of _____ for a long time, they die; so sleep is very important for them. The same genes that ________ sleep in ______ regulate sleep in flies. And when they're ______ they're disconnected, at least to a _____ degree, disconnected from their ___________, just like we are. So, if these guys are ________, you need a ________ _________ ________ to get them to react than when they're awake. So same thing that happens to you of course, when you're asleep. Two people in my lab: a postdoc, Iris Titos Vivancos and a PhD student, Michelle Frank, are asking exactly what is this barrier that's ___________ in the brain that prevents sensor information from ______ through during sleep? How can your same physical brain exist in two fundamentally different ______? So now we're _______, for instance, here I'm speaking to you, I'm engaged, I'm aware of you, of my surroundings, I'm aware of my ________ state; but tonight when I go to sleep, I will be in a __________ different state. And another thing that we're asking which is relevant to what I talked about, to light, is how light coming through the eye is regulating sleep and wake patterns? A PhD student in my lab, Bryan Song, is asking exactly this, What Bryan can do is, he can— you can see that flies have these big eyes that take up a large part of their head. What _____ can do is he can actually trick the cells in the eye into thinking they're seeing light, even when they're not. And this _______ in animals having trouble falling asleep, so it takes them about an hour and a half longer to fall asleep. You can imagine that now we can use this as a model organism to understand what it is that happens in the brain when it's getting light information and how this is ___________ with sleep and wake _______ in the brain. And so one final thing I want to tell you is well, first I want you to think again for a ______ about our evolutionary history. We evolved without alarm clocks, without any external source of information of the time of day, and we've developed this way that keeps us in sync with our environment. But what we're exposing ourselves to every day now is very much interfering with that natural system, and I think it's really something to think about. So when people tell you that too much light exposure at night is not good, unfortunately, they are actually right. And the last thing I want to say is please support basic science, because this is important for all of us, and this is the way forward, I think. (________)

Solution

  1. clock
  2. bright
  3. asleep
  4. intensity
  5. cloud
  6. interfacing
  7. traveling
  8. suggest
  9. state
  10. information
  11. smartphones
  12. block
  13. bryan
  14. clear
  15. stunningly
  16. europe
  17. night
  18. evolutionary
  19. important
  20. sleeping
  21. moment
  22. milky
  23. galaxy
  24. large
  25. brain
  26. applause
  27. external
  28. blackout
  29. sleep
  30. lights
  31. stimulus
  32. gained
  33. basic
  34. environment
  35. source
  36. takes
  37. coming
  38. picture
  39. humans
  40. states
  41. centers
  42. boston
  43. capable
  44. animals
  45. light
  46. melatonin
  47. matter
  48. today
  49. components
  50. health
  51. internal
  52. completely
  53. basically
  54. names
  55. flies
  56. police
  57. longer
  58. alarm
  59. rhythmicity
  60. established
  61. influences
  62. earth
  63. regulate
  64. stronger
  65. places
  66. engaged
  67. cycles
  68. results
  69. suffered
  70. shame
  71. spend

Original Text

In case you didn't know, 2015 is the International Year of Light. So, I thought I'd tell you just a little bit about the impact of light on our health. My lab uses fruit flies to study sleep and wake patterns, but what I want to talk today is primarily light and its impact on health. So, of course, we live on this planet that spins around its axis as it's orbiting the Sun. As a consequence of that, one of the basic facts of life on Earth is that you're exposed to light-dark cycles every single day. Here you see the side of the Earth that's facing the Sun, is light, and the other one is dark, and actually, I think we have so much light here that the dark side is kind of washed-out. But if the light was a little bit lower, you could see that there are lights all over the places on Earth, at least where there's solid ground, just not above water. And that's maybe a little bit more clear from this picture which is a composite Google image of Earth from above, at night, and I think that this is a really stunning image. It's stunningly beautiful, but it's also stunning to think about the amount of light that we're enveloping the Earth on, and, at the time of day when, for pretty much all of our evolutionary history, the Earth has been dark. There's this funny story that I don't know if it's true, but I like it, I think it's a good story, where in 1994, in LA, police started getting reports of people seeing a strange white cloud in the sky, and they didn't know what this was. They wondered if they should be worried. It turned out LA had just suffered a major earthquake which resulted in citywide blackouts. So, many people for the first time in many years, or perhaps the first time in their lives, had an unobstructed view of the night sky. In fact, what they were seeing was not a trail from some alien spaceship, but it was a glimpse of our own home galaxy, the Milky Way. This may sound quite incredible to you until I show you this next picture. Here's a picture that this guy, Todd Carlson, from Canada, took of his house, a fairly typical-looking house, a typical-looking sky, at least for those of us living in Boston, or surrounding areas. You can even make out some stars in the sky. In 2003, there was a blackout that affected large parts of the United States and Canada, and Todd Carlson lost his electricity, and he was smart enough to take a picture of his house at that time, and this is what it looked like. And again, here you can see this strange, white cloud in the sky which is the Milky Way. The lights that we are producing as humans, due to our ingenuity, are wiping out, basically, our view of these millions of stars in the sky. So, if we think about that, this is certainly a shame, because there are a few things that are more magnificent than a view of the night sky. But we should also think about what is this doing to our health if we're flooding ourselves with this amount of light pollution? So I want to I tell you that all throughout your bodies, in all of your organs, you have biological clocks that keep you in sync with the light-dark cycles of your environment that result from the Earth's rotation. And in your heads you have a master clock, a main clock that synchronizes all of these other clocks in your bodies. The way that this works is that light travels from a source, such as the Sun, or an artificial light source, through your eyes, and that light information is then conveyed to the brain, to the master clock that's in a part of your brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or the SCN. So in your eyes you of course have cells that help you see the stars, that help you form visible imagery. But you also have cells that are not a part of the visual-forming pathways, but rather their role is to capture light information and basically convey it to the brain, to tell the brain what time of day it is. So, how can I convince you that you have this clock? Well, if I closed you in a dark room where you would have no external source of light, no alarm clocks, no clocks of any kind, you would still retain rhythmic sleep and wake patterns at least for a little while, because your clock was previously trained to light-dark cycles and one of the main functions of the clock is to regulate behavioral rhythmicity. This, of course, is not an experiment that many of you would be willing to subject yourselves to, but, fortunately, there's an experiment that most of us have participated in, which is traveling across time zones. So, I like this quote that says, "When you travel from America to Europe, your soul takes about three days longer to get there." And I know this is certainly true when I travel from here to Serbia, my home country. It does take me several days basically, to feel normal, to feel aligned with the population that's living there. And this is because your clock takes a few days to get realigned with this new schedule. And, if you think about this, this makes sense, right? So, for pretty much all of our history, except for a blink of an eye, in our evolutionary history, nobody had a way of hopping from one continent to the other in a matter of hours. We're changing time zones so quickly, and in this case, nature's not really keeping up with what we are capable of doing. So, what is this clock? And why is it important to think about light? The clock is a molecular oscillator, the details here are not important at all, I don't want you to look at the names of these things on the board, but I want to point out that the clock is essentially the same in animals such as fruit flies, which my lab uses in our studies, and in mammals like mice or humans. And the first glimpses of the clock, the components of the clock, and the way that it ticks were gained in the fly, actually. What I want to stress here is that the clock is tuned by light. Some of the components of this clock are actually degraded, directly degraded by light. So, that results in the state of the clock essentially oscillating throughout the day and night. You can imagine if the composition of the clock, if some of the components are degraded, the composition of the clock will change between day and night. And then the outputs of the clock between day and night will be different. So, for instance, during the day, the state of your clock is such that you are suppressing production of melatonin, which is the hormone that helps you fall asleep, but also has other functions, such as anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. So light. Let's talk about blue light a little bit. When you're outside during the day, you're, of course, exposed to sunlight which consists of different wavelengths of light. But the one that's particularly important is blue light, because of its effect on our clock. Blue light also directly elevates your mood, it boosts your attention and your alertness. So blue light during the day is very, very good, and I'd say that most of us don't spend enough time in a bright light outside. You should be for 30 to 60 minutes outside in bright light, so put some sunscreen on and go outside. The flip side of this is that when you come home at night I would dare guess that pretty much none of us spend the rest of the day when we come home, in darkness, and we're not in tune with the natural light and dark cycles, right? So, what we do normally is we use our computers, smartphones, tablets; we are in rooms that have high amounts of LED light. And, in particular, what's really bad is that these devices are very, very rich in blue light. So, what you're doing, every evening, when you're using these devices is you're essentially tricking your clock into thinking that it's still day. And since the clock during day and blue light suppress melatonin production, you're essentially doing that at night. Now, I'm not naive enough to suggest you never use your computer at night, I know I wouldn't abide by that. But one thing that you can do, is you can turn the brightness of your screen in the evening, you can download programs that filter some of the blue light or you can use glasses that block some of the blue light. I have a little bit of news for you that maybe you'll perceive as bad, but I think it's actually very good, which is that you are very much like these guys. So, this is a close-up of a fruit fly, and you may not like if I tell you that you are like these guys. But think about it for a second, this is very good for us because now we can use these animals as a model system to understand more about sleep biology, and how light influences our clock and our health, and this is what my lab is doing. So, they sleep just like we do, they sleep at night. If we deprive them of sleep, then they crash the next day during the time they would normally be active. If we deprive them of sleep for a long time, they die; so sleep is very important for them. The same genes that regulate sleep in humans regulate sleep in flies. And when they're asleep they're disconnected, at least to a large degree, disconnected from their environment, just like we are. So, if these guys are sleeping, you need a stronger intensity stimulus to get them to react than when they're awake. So same thing that happens to you of course, when you're asleep. Two people in my lab: a postdoc, Iris Titos Vivancos and a PhD student, Michelle Frank, are asking exactly what is this barrier that's established in the brain that prevents sensor information from coming through during sleep? How can your same physical brain exist in two fundamentally different states? So now we're engaged, for instance, here I'm speaking to you, I'm engaged, I'm aware of you, of my surroundings, I'm aware of my internal state; but tonight when I go to sleep, I will be in a completely different state. And another thing that we're asking which is relevant to what I talked about, to light, is how light coming through the eye is regulating sleep and wake patterns? A PhD student in my lab, Bryan Song, is asking exactly this, What Bryan can do is, he can— you can see that flies have these big eyes that take up a large part of their head. What Bryan can do is he can actually trick the cells in the eye into thinking they're seeing light, even when they're not. And this results in animals having trouble falling asleep, so it takes them about an hour and a half longer to fall asleep. You can imagine that now we can use this as a model organism to understand what it is that happens in the brain when it's getting light information and how this is interfacing with sleep and wake centers in the brain. And so one final thing I want to tell you is well, first I want you to think again for a moment about our evolutionary history. We evolved without alarm clocks, without any external source of information of the time of day, and we've developed this way that keeps us in sync with our environment. But what we're exposing ourselves to every day now is very much interfering with that natural system, and I think it's really something to think about. So when people tell you that too much light exposure at night is not good, unfortunately, they are actually right. And the last thing I want to say is please support basic science, because this is important for all of us, and this is the way forward, I think. (Applause)

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
blue light 7
light information 3
white cloud 2
night sky 2
external source 2
time zones 2
regulate sleep 2

Important Words

  1. abide
  2. active
  3. affected
  4. alarm
  5. alertness
  6. alien
  7. aligned
  8. america
  9. amount
  10. amounts
  11. animals
  12. antioxidant
  13. applause
  14. areas
  15. artificial
  16. asleep
  17. attention
  18. awake
  19. aware
  20. axis
  21. bad
  22. barrier
  23. basic
  24. basically
  25. beautiful
  26. behavioral
  27. big
  28. biological
  29. biology
  30. bit
  31. blackout
  32. blackouts
  33. blink
  34. block
  35. blue
  36. board
  37. bodies
  38. boosts
  39. boston
  40. brain
  41. bright
  42. brightness
  43. bryan
  44. called
  45. canada
  46. capable
  47. capture
  48. carlson
  49. case
  50. cells
  51. centers
  52. change
  53. changing
  54. citywide
  55. clear
  56. clock
  57. clocks
  58. closed
  59. cloud
  60. coming
  61. completely
  62. components
  63. composite
  64. composition
  65. computer
  66. computers
  67. consequence
  68. consists
  69. continent
  70. convey
  71. conveyed
  72. convince
  73. country
  74. crash
  75. cycles
  76. dark
  77. darkness
  78. day
  79. days
  80. degraded
  81. degree
  82. deprive
  83. details
  84. developed
  85. devices
  86. disconnected
  87. download
  88. due
  89. earth
  90. earthquake
  91. effect
  92. electricity
  93. elevates
  94. engaged
  95. enveloping
  96. environment
  97. essentially
  98. established
  99. europe
  100. evening
  101. evolutionary
  102. evolved
  103. exist
  104. experiment
  105. exposed
  106. exposing
  107. exposure
  108. external
  109. eye
  110. eyes
  111. facing
  112. fact
  113. facts
  114. fall
  115. falling
  116. feel
  117. filter
  118. final
  119. flies
  120. flip
  121. flooding
  122. fly
  123. form
  124. fortunately
  125. frank
  126. fruit
  127. functions
  128. fundamentally
  129. funny
  130. gained
  131. galaxy
  132. genes
  133. glasses
  134. glimpse
  135. glimpses
  136. good
  137. google
  138. ground
  139. guess
  140. guy
  141. guys
  142. head
  143. heads
  144. health
  145. helps
  146. high
  147. history
  148. home
  149. hopping
  150. hormone
  151. hour
  152. hours
  153. house
  154. humans
  155. image
  156. imagery
  157. imagine
  158. impact
  159. important
  160. incredible
  161. influences
  162. information
  163. ingenuity
  164. instance
  165. intensity
  166. interfacing
  167. interfering
  168. internal
  169. international
  170. iris
  171. keeping
  172. kind
  173. la
  174. lab
  175. large
  176. led
  177. life
  178. light
  179. lights
  180. live
  181. lives
  182. living
  183. long
  184. longer
  185. looked
  186. lost
  187. magnificent
  188. main
  189. major
  190. mammals
  191. master
  192. matter
  193. melatonin
  194. mice
  195. michelle
  196. milky
  197. millions
  198. minutes
  199. model
  200. molecular
  201. moment
  202. mood
  203. naive
  204. names
  205. natural
  206. news
  207. night
  208. normal
  209. nucleus
  210. orbiting
  211. organism
  212. organs
  213. oscillating
  214. oscillator
  215. outputs
  216. part
  217. participated
  218. parts
  219. pathways
  220. patterns
  221. people
  222. perceive
  223. phd
  224. physical
  225. picture
  226. places
  227. planet
  228. point
  229. police
  230. pollution
  231. population
  232. postdoc
  233. pretty
  234. prevents
  235. previously
  236. primarily
  237. producing
  238. production
  239. programs
  240. properties
  241. put
  242. quickly
  243. quote
  244. react
  245. realigned
  246. regulate
  247. regulating
  248. relevant
  249. reports
  250. rest
  251. result
  252. resulted
  253. results
  254. retain
  255. rhythmic
  256. rhythmicity
  257. rich
  258. role
  259. room
  260. rooms
  261. rotation
  262. schedule
  263. science
  264. scn
  265. screen
  266. sense
  267. sensor
  268. serbia
  269. shame
  270. show
  271. side
  272. single
  273. sky
  274. sleep
  275. sleeping
  276. smart
  277. smartphones
  278. solid
  279. song
  280. soul
  281. sound
  282. source
  283. spaceship
  284. speaking
  285. spend
  286. spins
  287. stars
  288. started
  289. state
  290. states
  291. stimulus
  292. story
  293. strange
  294. stress
  295. stronger
  296. student
  297. studies
  298. study
  299. stunning
  300. stunningly
  301. subject
  302. suffered
  303. suggest
  304. sun
  305. sunlight
  306. sunscreen
  307. support
  308. suppress
  309. suppressing
  310. suprachiasmatic
  311. surrounding
  312. surroundings
  313. sync
  314. synchronizes
  315. system
  316. takes
  317. talk
  318. talked
  319. thinking
  320. thought
  321. ticks
  322. time
  323. titos
  324. today
  325. todd
  326. tonight
  327. trail
  328. trained
  329. travel
  330. traveling
  331. travels
  332. trick
  333. tricking
  334. trouble
  335. true
  336. tune
  337. tuned
  338. turn
  339. turned
  340. understand
  341. united
  342. unobstructed
  343. view
  344. visible
  345. vivancos
  346. wake
  347. water
  348. wavelengths
  349. white
  350. wiping
  351. wondered
  352. works
  353. worried
  354. year
  355. years
  356. zones