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Text 7.1. Body clock

Exercise 7.1.1.What do these words mean? Before reading the text, can you anticipate what “Body clock” is about?


to emerge

a cave

body rhythms

a scientist

living quarters


to affect

to rise




Exrecise 7.1.2. Read and translate the text.

On May 23 1989 Stefania Follini emergedfrom a caveat Carlsbad, New Mexico.

She hadn’t seen the sun for eighteen and a half weeks. Stefania was a volunteer in an Italian research programme, and the scientistsin the programme were studying body rhythms. In this experiment Stefania, a 27-year old decorator, had spent 130 days in a cave 30 feet underground.

During her time in the cave, Stefania had been completely alone except for two white mice. Her living quartershad been very comfortable, but there had been nothing to tell her the time. She’d had no clocks or watches, no television or radio. There had been no natural light and the temperature had been kept at a constant 21 degrees Celsius.

The results were very interesting. Stefania had been underground for over four months, but she thought she had been there for only two. Her body clock had changed. She hadn’t kept to a 24-hour day; she had stayed awakefor 20 – 25 hours and then had slept for 10 hours. She had eaten fewer meals (and had lost 17 lbs in weight as a result). She had also become rather depressed.

How had she spent her time in the cave? As part of the experiment she’d done some physical and mental tests. She’d recorded her daily activities and the results of the tests on the computer. (This computer had been her only link to the outside world).

For entertainmentshe’d played cards, read books and listened to music. She had also learnt English from tapes.

The experiment showed that our body clocks are affected bylight and temperature.

For example, the patternof day and night makes us wake up and go to sleep.

However, people are affected in different ways. Some people wake up naturally at 5.00 am, but others don’t start to wake up till 9.00 or 10.00 am. This affects the whole morning. The late risers, on the other hand, are tired during the day and come to life in the afternoon or evening.


Exercise 7.1.3.Answer the following questions.

1) What were the Italian scientists studying?

2) How many days had Stefania spent in the cave?

3) What do you know about her living quarters?

4) Did she get any information about the time?

5) What happened to her body clock?

6) How had she spent her time in the cave?

7) What makes us wake up and go to sleep?

Exercise 7.1.4.Translate from Russian into English. Which Tense is right?


1. Стефания стала добровольцем итальянской исследовательской


2. Стефания провела 130 дней в пещере на глубине 30 футов.

3. Когда Стефания покинула пещеру, выяснилось, что она похудела на 17 унций.

4. Стефания использовала компьютер для связи с внешним миром.

5. Эксперимент показал, что на наши биологические часы влияют свет и температура.


Exercise 7.1.5.Compose a short story about yourbody clock. Are you an early riser? When do you feel best of all – in the morning or in the evening?


Exercise 7.1.6. Check your memory.Speak about the experiment of Italian scientists.


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