Hurdles to asepsis, universal literacy, and chronobiology - All to be overcome

Franz Halberg, Henry Nash Smith, Germaine G Cornelissen-Guillaume, Patrick Delmore, Othild Schwartzkopff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A joining of chronobiology and endocrinology was achieved in 1974 at a symposium focusing on the critical role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal network on the basic side and on the first drug to carry timing in its name. The next step is a section on chronobiology in this neuroendocrinology journal. An account of the problems encountered before both asepsis and universal literacy became the law of the profession and of the land serves here as background to endeavors in behalf of chronobiologic literacy. A step toward the latter goal is the use of systematically collected measurements of heart rate and blood pressure evaluated by computer against reference standards from peers of corresponding age, gender and ethnicity. Thereby, an illustrative, clinically relevant aspect of everyday physiology is resolved within the otherwise neglected normal range, and disease risk syndromes are detected so that preventive treatment can be instituted before catastrophic disease occurs. The scope of this chronobiology section of the Neuroendocrinology Letters is to map the time-qualified feedsideward interactions within the neuroendocrines, in the rest of an organism and in the environment. Thereby, we replace time-unqualified feedbacks and feedforwards, along imaginary axes, by neuroendocrine and cellular networks operating predictably insofar as rhythmically within the range of everyday physiology. Subtle effects are thus found that are otherwise covered by the curtain of ignorance drawn over the normal range. More important, feedsidewards account for opposite effects that recur rhythmically, and thus help clarify mechanisms that may underlie the difference between stimulating or inhibiting a malignancy and thus shortening or lengthening the lifespan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-160
Number of pages16
JournalNeuroendocrinology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Chronome
  • Circadian hyper-amplitude-tension (CHAT)
  • Healthwatch
  • Physiological monitoring
  • Self-help

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