From the Latin cyclus, a cycle is a certain period of time that, once finished, begins again. It is also about the sequence of stages that an event with periodic characteristics goes through and the group of phenomena that are repeated in a certain order.
An economic cycle, for example, consists of a period of rise (economic activity increases) followed by a period of decline (indicators fall) that leads to a recession stage. Upon reaching a certain floor, reactivation begins and the ascent period returns. These business cycles are characteristic of the capitalist economy.
The water cycle is the process through which water circulates through the hydrosphere. The heat causes the water on the surface to evaporate and condense, forming clouds. With precipitation (like rain), the water returns to the ocean and the cycle begins again.
The menstrual cycle or female sexual cycle, meanwhile, is the process by which eggs develop and modifications are generated in the body that allow a pregnancy to be possible. The cycle begins with the first day of menstruation and ends the day before the start of the next menstruation.
For physics, the cycle of a wave is the smallest distance that exists before the wave repeats itself. The cycle, therefore, depends on the wavelength.
On the other hand, a series of activities or events that have a thematic link is known as a cycle: “I am going to attend a series of conferences on Uruguayan colonial history”, “My boss asked me to organize a cycle to present the company news ”.
In computing, one cycle of the central processing unit (CPU) is equal to one electromagnetic pulse that is generated by the quartz oscillator; the rate of these pulses, which is constant, determines the speed at which the processor operates. It is often believed that it is enough to know this value to know how efficient a certain equipment is, and nothing could be further from the truth; There are lots of other variables where you should focus your attention, such as operating system and hardware architecture, that can make a really significant difference.
The circadian cycle
From bacteria to humans, through all living organisms, there is a biological clock that is responsible for controlling a long list of biochemical functions called cycle fluctuations, such as behavior and sleep, which are grouped into the called circadian rhythms.
The different organisms have in common a series of molecular mechanisms to process light in the day-night cycle, through photosensitive molecules (photoreceptors) that serve as intermediaries between environmental factors and the circadian clock. Given that studies have been carried out in many species, both plant and animal, and the same results have been obtained, it is believed correct to say that throughout its evolution part of the metabolism of light has been conserved.
Despite having made many advances in the plant kingdom, the so-called circadian gene has not yet been discovered in humans; Scientists say that when they access it, they will be able to manipulate many aspects of our physiology, such as the sleep cycle. But this possibility is not the only reason for the interest in this topic, but rather that its study can bring us closer to knowing more in depth the genetics of many different species with the naked eye and that have evolved independently, but that share more similarities than previously thought.