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Artificial light at night has brought prosperity to the human race since the beginning of the last century. With intensity and duration of illumination increasing over the decades, now - more than ever before - we work, travel, and enjoy entertainment, security and medical treatment nonstop. However, the results of studies carried out over the last decade show that humans exposed to light at night - and not only shift workers - are under health risk. A new Center for Interdisciplinary Chronobiological Research has been established at the University of Haifa to focus research on this and other related concerns.
“Basic research relating to applied chronobiology in Israel has mainly been carried out for requested studies for particular organizations and institutions, such as the Israel Defense Forces. Beyond that, our understanding of health responses to light at night is still in its infancy and does not match the work being done in the world in this field,” explains Prof. Abraham Haim of the Department of Biology and the Department of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, who is director of the new center. “Therefore, there is a real need for a new center that will provide a basis for research from which technological applications for medicine and agriculture can be developed in the future.”