Every living thing has an inner biological clock that controls behavior. The clock works all the time; even when there are no outside signs to mark the passing of time. The biological clock tells plants when to form flowers and when the flowers should open. It tells insects when to leave the protective cocoon and fly a way. And it tells animals when to eat, sleep and wake. It controls body temperature, the release of some hormones and even dreams. These natural daily events are circadian rhythms.
Man has known about them for thousands of years. But the first scientific observation of circadian rhythms was not made until 1729. In that year French astronomer, Jean-Jacques d"Ortous de Mairan, noted that one of his plants opened it s leaves at the same time every morning, and closed them at the same time every night. The plant did this even when he kept it in a dark place all the time. Later scientists wondered about circadian rhythms in humans. They learned that man"s biological clock actually keeps time with a day of a little less than 25 hours instead of the 24 hours on a man-made clock. About four years ago an American doctor, Eliot Weitzman, established a laboratory to study how our biological clock works. The people in his experiments are shut off from the outside world. They are free to listen to and live by their circadian rhythms. Dr. Weitzman hopes his research will lead to effective treatments for common sleep problems and sleep disorders caused by ageing and mental illness. The laboratory is in the Monteflore Hospital in New York City. It has two living areas with three small rooms in each. The windows are covered, so no sunlight o r moonlight comes in. There are no radios or television receivers. There is a control room between the living areas. It contains computers, one-way cameras and other electronic devices for observing the person in the living area. The instruments measure heartbeat, body temperature, hormones in the blood, other substances in the urine and brain waves during sleep. A doctor or medical technician is on duty in the control room 24 hours a day during an experiment. They do not work the same time each day and are not permitted to wear watches, so the person in the experiment has no idea what time it is. In the first four years of research, Dr Weitzman and his assistant have observed 16 men between the ages of 21 and 80. The men remained in the laboratory for as long as six months. Last month, a science reporter for "The New York Times" newspaper, Dava Sobol, became the first woman to take part in the experiment. She entered the laboratory on June 13th and stayed for 25 days. Miss Sobol wrote reports about the experiment during that time, which were published in the newspaper.
1.The biological clock is believed to play an essential role in ____.
A. the regulation of body temperature
B. the secretion of hormones
C. animal reproduction
D. many aspects of plant and animal physiology
2.In his observation, the French scientist noticed that the leaves of a certain plant maintained its opening-and-closing cycles ____.
A. even when it was kept in a murky place all day
B. even if it was placed in the moonlight
C. even when he was observing it from a dark place
D. even during the night time
3.The sentence "They are free to listen to and live by their circadian rhythms." (In Paragraph 4) probably means ____.
A.They can lead their daily lives according to their biological clocks, without referring to a man-made clock.
B.They can listen to the wonderful rhythms of the biological clock and live close to them.
C. They can live by regulating their own circadian rhythms.
D. They are free from the annoying rhythms of everyday life.
4.In the experiment conducted by Mr. Weitzman, the doctor who is on duty does not work the same time each day ____.
A. insgroupsto observe the abnormal behavior of the people at different times
B. so as not to be recognized by the people
C. so as to avoid indicating to the people what time it is when he starts work
D. so as to leave the people"s circadian rhythms in disorder