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A milestone has been reached on the long road to artificial hibernation


Sending people to sleep for a long time and turning off their metabolism: Science fiction likes to identify artificial hibernation as an important tool in space travel. But the researchers are also intrigued by the idea. Now, for the first time, it has become possible to send primates into hibernation.

Researchers are training to activate old, hibernating neurons

When you travel the world in sci-fi stories, it’s part of the normal standard equipment aboard any well-formed spacecraft: devices with which passengers can be put into artificial hibernation – and admittedly, even in fiction these systems rarely work smoothly. Here on Earth, researchers are currently trying to do the intricate preparatory work to develop such a system.
Researchers have found the “switch”: artificial hibernation in primates

With the exception of lemurs, primate bodies are not designed to withstand prolonged periods of significantly reduced metabolic activity, a condition known as hypometabolism. Simply put, the family of apes, and therefore humans, would like to hibernate, but they cannot. A research team led by Dr. Wang Hong and Dr. said Dai Ji from the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences Physics Make a breakthrough here.

As the researchers describe, the first controllable “artificial hibernation” in non-human primates could be initiated through targeted activation of a group of neurons in the hypothalamus. d said Day, one of the corresponding authors. “This is the first fMRI study to examine these functional connections at the brain level.”

Aimed at artificial hibernation

Then came the surprise: Targeted activation of certain neurons in this region reliably caused hypothermia in both anesthetized and awake monkeys. The first effect of neurostimulation: a significant decrease in core body temperature. Researchers explain: Neurons that trigger behavior are essential in thermoregulation in the primate brain.

Quotes Phiz D. Wang. “With the growing enthusiasm for human spaceflight, this hypothermic monkey model is a milestone on the long road to artificial hibernation.”

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Find, sleep, monkey, sleep, monkeys
Find, sleep, monkey, sleep, monkeys
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