Hibernation in mice: Are humans next?
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba and RIKEN in Japan spark a hibernation-like state in mice—a species that does not naturally hibernate Tsukuba Japan — In Sci-Fi movies, astronauts often enter an inactive state in “hibernation chambers” to cross the vastness of space. This could cut down on the required amount of food and oxygen and to prevent serious side effects from low gravity, such as muscle wasting in zero-G condition. A state of unconsciousness could also potentially minimize psychological challenges in space. Could humans hibernate in the future? Why do some animals hibernate while others do not? Do all animals have the potential to hibernate even if they never do so in nature? Researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan opened the door to answering these questions by finding specific cells in the mouse brain that can trigger a hibernation-like state when activated. The study was published in the scientific journal Nature.