Hibernation Artificially Triggered In Potential Space Travel Breakthrough
View Source | May 25, 2023 8:44 pm
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- In science fiction, space crews are often spared the boredom and inconvenience of long-distance space travel by being placed into a state of suspended animation. Now this goal may have come a step closer after scientists showed that hibernation can be artificially triggered in rodents using ultrasonic pulses.
- The advance is seen as significant because the technique was effective in rats – animals that do not naturally hibernate. This raises the prospect that humans may also retain a vestigial hibernation circuit in the brain that could be artificially reactivated.
- “If this proves feasible in humans, we could envision astronauts wearing a helmet-like device designed to target the hypothalamus region for inducing a hypothermia and hypometabolism state,” said Hong Chen, an associate professor at Washington University in St Louis, who led the work.
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