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Thread: Scientists trigger hibernation in mice

  1. #1
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    Scientists trigger hibernation in mice

    UPI

    June 12 (UPI) -- Scientists in Japan successfully triggered a hibernation-like state in mice by activating a specific group of brain cells.
    The research, published this week in the journal Nature, suggests even animals that don't naturally sleep through the winter are capable of hibernation.
    ...

    Hibernation isn't simply prolonged sleep. When food gets scarce and winter approaches, hibernating animals begin to slow down their metabolism and drop their body temperature. During their prolonged slumber, hibernating animals quiet their brains and slow their heart rate and breathing.
    ...

    Mice don't hibernate in the wild. But in the lab, researchers were able to coax mice into a hibernation-like state by activating a type of brain cell called Q neurons.

    "The mice exhibited distinctive qualities that met the criteria for hibernation," Takeshi Sakurai, researcher at the University of Tsukuba, said in a news release. "In particular, the body temperature set-point lowered from about 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit to about 81 degrees Fahrenheit, and the body functioned normally to maintain a lower body temperature around 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit, even when the surrounding ambient temperature was dramatically reduced."

    During their approximately weeklong hibernation, the mice had slower heart rates, reduced oxygen consumption and slower respiration.
    original article

    Abstract
    Hibernating mammals actively lower their body temperature to reduce energy expenditure when facing food scarcity1. This ability to induce a hypometabolic state has evoked great interest owing to its potential medical benefits2,3. Here we show that a hypothalamic neuronal circuit in rodents induces a long-lasting hypothermic and hypometabolic state similar to hibernation. In this state, although body temperature and levels of oxygen consumption are kept very low, the ability to regulate metabolism still remains functional, as in hibernation4. There was no obvious damage to tissues and organs or abnormalities in behaviour after recovery from this state. Our findings could enable the development of a method to induce a hibernation-like state, which would have potential applications in non-hibernating mammalian species including humans.
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  2. #2
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    Ars Technica has an article on that:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020...on-like-state/

    They say that it triggers torpor, which is similar but different in some important ways to the hibernation found in some other species. Mice have the advantage that their biology has been very extensively studied and are easier to study further than those other species.

    I do hope effective hibernation for humans is eventually developed. It could be useful in medicine and eventually space travel.

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  3. #3
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    I think they are calling it violation these days.
    Prehoda wrote a book on suspended animation.

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