Napping Tree Ring Dating – Dendrochronology

Napping Tree Ring Dating – Dendrochronology Summary Text 11

Napping Tree Ring Dating – Dendrochronology Summary Text 11

Summary Written Text



A large new study has found that people who regularly took a siesta were significantly less likely to die of heart disease.

“Taking a nap could turn out to be an important weapon in the fight against coronary mortality,” said Diminutions Trichinosis of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who led the study published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study of more than 23,000 Greek adults the biggest and best examination of the subject to date —found that those who regularly took a midday siesta were more than 30 percent less likely to die of heart disease.

Other experts said the results are intriguing. Heart disease kills more than 650,000 Americans each year, making it the nation’s No. 1 cause of death.

“It’s interesting. A little siesta, a little snooze may be beneficial,” said Gerald Fletcher, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., speaking on behalf of the American Heart Association. “It’s simple, but it has a lot of promise.”

While more research is needed to confirm and explore the findings, there are several ways napping could reduce the risk of heart attacks, experts said.

“Napping may help deal with the stress of daily living,” said Michael Twery, who directs the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s National Center on Sleep Disorders Research. “Another possibility is that it is part of the normal biological rhythm of daily living. The biological clock that drives sleep and wakefulness has two cycles each day, and one of them dips usually in the early afternoon. It’s possible that not engaging in napping for some people might disrupt these processes.”

Researchers have long known that countries such as Greece’ Italy and Spain’ where people commonly take siestas’ have lower rates of heart disease than would be expected. But previous studies that attempted to study the relationship between naps and heart disease have produced mixed results. The new study is first to try to fully account for factors that might confuse the findings’ such as physical activity’ diet and other illnesses.


Although more research is needed, some studies show that a regular midday siesta could reduce the probability of death caused by heart disease, by helping to deal with stress and biological rhythm of daily living.


2. Tree Ring Dating – Dendrochronology

Here’s how tree-ring dating, known to scientists as dendrochronology (from the Greek roots Dendro = tree, and Chronos = time), works. If you cut a tree down today, it’s straightforward to count the rings inwards, starting from the tree’s outside (corresponding to this year’s growth ring), and thereby to state that the 177th ring from the outermost one towards the center was laid down in the year 2005 minus 177, or 1828. However, the widths of tree growth rings vary from year to year, depending on
the rain or drought conditions in each year.

Hence the sequence of the rings in a tree cross-section is like a message in Morse code formerly used for sending telegraph messages; dot-dot-dash-dot-dash in the Morse code’ wide-wide-narrow-wide narrow in the tree ring sequence. Actually’ the tree ring sequence is even more diagnostic and richer in information than the Morse code’ because trees actually contain rings spanning many different widths’ rather than the Morse code choice between dot and dash.

Tree-ring specialists (known as dendro-chronologists) proceed by noting the sequence of wider and narrower rings in a tree cut down in a known recent year, and also noting the sequences in beams from trees cut down at various times in the past. They then match up and align the tree ring sequences with the same diagnostic wide/narrow patterns from different beams.

In that way, dendrochronologists have constructed tree-ring records extending back for thousands of years in some parts of the world. Each record is valid for a geographic area whose extent depends on local weather patterns because weather and hence tree growth patterns vary with location.

A bonus of dendrochronology is that the width and substructure of each ring reflect the amount of rain and the season at which the rain fell during that particular year. Thus, tree ring studies also allow one to reconstruct the past climate, e.g., a series of wide rings means a very wet period, and a series of narrow rings means a drought.



Although more research is needed, some studies show that a regular midday siesta could reduce the probability of death caused by heart disease, by helping to deal with stress and biological rhythm of daily living.

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