Will we ever be able to put humans into hibernation

Will we ever be able to put humans into hibernation? – VAT News

A team of scientists has succeeded for the first time in artificially putting mice and rats, species that are unable to do so naturally, into hibernation.

Having accomplished this initial feat, the researchers in this study, published in the journal Nature Metabolism, are now questioning whether their technique could be applied to humans, and particularly used for space travel, reports The Guardian.

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

They showed that these neurons can be artificially activated in mice by ultrasound performed non-invasively using headphones.

The scientists also developed a system that sends out a signal to re-stimulate this brain region when the animals’ temperature rises, keeping them frozen.

As a result, her temperature dropped by about 3 degrees Celsius and her metabolism also began to only burn fat for energy instead of alternating with carbohydrates.

Her heart rate also slowed by 47%.

The mice, which shouldn’t have been able to do so, hibernated for 24 hours and woke up when the ultrasound system was turned off.

These results were also conclusive in rats.

“If it becomes feasible in humans, we could see astronauts wearing helmets that target the region of the hypothalamus and induce hypothermia and a state of hypometabolism,” study lead investigator Hong Cheng told The Guardian .

The researcher also points out that hibernation could give doctors more time to treat life-threatening diseases.

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

“Everything they saw reflected 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 technique on larger animals.