Will we be able to put humans into hibernation?

A team of scientists has succeeded for the first time in artificially hibernating mice and rats, species that cannot do so naturally.

After achieving this first feat, researchers This study was published in the journal Nature Metabolism The question now arises whether their technique can be applied to humans and used, in particular, in space travel, according to The Guardian.

To achieve this breakthrough, the team first identified a brain region called the hypothalamus as the region that regulates body temperature and metabolism during hibernation.

They demonstrated that, in mice, these neurons can be activated artificially by ultrasound performed non-invasively with the help of headphones.

The scientists also developed a system that sends a signal to stimulate this region of the brain again if the animals overheat, thus keeping them in their hibernation.

So their temperature dropped by about 3°C ​​and their metabolism also started burning fat only for energy instead of alternating with carbohydrates.

Their heart rate also slowed by 47%.

For 24 hours, the mice, which should not be able to do this normally, hibernated and were awakened when the ultrasound system was turned off.

These results were also conclusive in mice.

“If this becomes possible in humans, we could see astronauts wearing helmets designed to target the hypothalamus and induce hypothermia and a hypometabolic state,” notes the English media The Guardian, lead researcher of the study, Hong Cheng.

The researcher also notes that hibernation could give doctors more time to treat life-threatening illnesses.

A Stockholm University professor named Martin Jastroch, who was not involved in the study, said he was pleased with the results of this study.

See also  High Seas Treaty | The nations of the United Nations reach an agreement

“Everything they saw replicated what you see in nature,” he told the Guardian.

He also adds that there is a “high probability” that their technique could theoretically work in humans.

The research team will now be busy testing their method on larger animals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *