During cold weather in some species of mammals, the so-called hibernation sets in. For a long time, scientists were wondering if it is possible to artificially cause this condition in animals that do not hibernate. New research confirms that this is not only real, but also helps astronauts of the future reach distant planets.
Hibernation is characterized by a significant decrease in the level of metabolism. Being in a state of hibernation, the body lowers the temperature to extremely low values. In this state, the sleeper requires a minimum amount of energy, his heartbeat slows down, his lungs consume less oxygen, and brain activity practically stops. When the time comes for getting out of hibernation, the body is completely healthy, even if it is accompanied by a slight weight loss.
In the course of new experiments, researchers discovered Q-neurons, when exposed to which experimental mice went into sleep, reminiscent of hibernation in its features. In this state, the rodent’s body temperature decreased from 36 ° C to 27 ° C, and the organisms even continued to function normally when lowered to 22 ° C. The mice also showed all the signs of decreased metabolism that often occur during hibernation. It is important to consider that this species of mammals never falls into hibernation on its own in natural conditions.
At the moment, it is not clear whether the person has Q-neurons and whether they will respond to excitation in the same way as in mice. If it turns out that this is possible, hibernation will reduce the impact on the body during long flights to distant planets. In addition, there are a number of medical conditions in which in the future it will be possible to introduce a person to hibernation. For example, during emergency transportation or in critically severe cases bordering on a danger to life.