Scientists see potential in future lights to deliver health benefits
Living long, with good health has always been everybodys unfulfilled wish. The prime reason for this is very obvious-- Current Technology has not advanced to that level. But, looking at this issue from a different angle hints that although days cannot be made longer, it can be made better. Hence, Scientist all over the worlds are working on methods to extend life span of human using some cutting edge technology. But achieving this humongous task is not easy. This is because, the clock cycle of human body run in an unpredictable manner, making it very hard to stimulate in required manner. For instance, If a person travels the whole day and returns back home very tired. He will not be able to work at night due to fatigue. But, after a good long sleep, he will be able to resume his work in the morning. This inability of the body to work continuously at required time is inherent and difficult to alter. The counter-measure to overcome such hurdles and to stimulate clock cycles of human body as per as our needs requires extraordinary efforts.
Today, Scientists have been taking a closer look at the lighting in our homes, offices and vehicles, and theyre seeing potential for a way to improve health and a new means of electronic communication. None of this is going to happen tomorrow. But, scientists are not ruling out any possibilities. They are experimenting on conventional light source to bring out some health-benefiting factor, which could be used for diagnosis. For instance consider technological development of LEDs, Components which were used to form numbers on digital clocks or blink on answering machines, are now being used to illuminate swimming pools and serve as traffic signals. In addition, LEDs offers unique feature of conservation of energy.
But engineer E. Fred Schubert, is more excited about some other properties. One is that LEDs can be made to blink so fast that a person doesnt notice, but a receiving device can. And that, Schubert says, opens the door to using lights for electronic communication as well as illumination. Meanwhile, his Rensselaer colleague Mariana Figueiro believes that lighting in offices and schools could be used to make people healthy and productive, by acting on their internal body clocks. "Light isnt just for vision any more," says Figueiro, program director at Rensselaers Lighting Research Center and head of a committee on light and human health for the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.
The 24-hour internal body clock is best known for controlling cycles of alertness and sleep, and for producing jet lag which people experience after travelling across time zones. Light cues, especially blue light, help to keep the clock on its daily cycle. "Were pretty much like blue-sky detectors" whose clocks count on bright days and dark nights, said Figueiro.
David Sliney, a medical physicist who studies light-related issues at the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, said research into how room lighting affects health is exciting but still in its early phases. Its not yet clear how it will affect lighting strategies, he said, but he believes it will.George Brainard of Thomas Jefferson University, who studies the effect of light on the body clock, agrees. Over the next two decades it will inspire engineers to look at "the redesign of virtually all human environments for lighting," he said. "Theres no question in my mind about that."
If the experiment turns out to be successful, it can be used to cure millions of people suffering from various kinds of diseases like seasonal depression, fatigue, sleep disturbances and cancer. But, we have to wait till man progress, a step towards reaching god, arrives.
|Posted : 11/21/2005|