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How Hibernation Could Help Humans Treat Illness, Conserve Energy and Get to Mars

Researchers will gather today to discuss the potential for hibernation and the related process, to help human health in spaceflight…

Researchers will gather today to discuss the potential for hibernation and the related process, to help human health in spaceflight at the American Physiological Society’s (APS) Comparative Physiology: Complexity and Integration Conference in New Orleans.

To survive times Når maten er skarpt og temperaturen er lavt, nogle dyr indtaster hibernation – en fysiologisk proces som reducerer deres normale metabolisme til lave niveauer for dage eller uger om gangen. These periods of low metabolism, known as torpor, allow the animal’s body temperature to fall to just above the surrounding air temperature, thus conserving energy. Humans do not naturally undergo torpor, but scientists are interested in the idea of ​​producing states of “synthetic” torpor in certain situations, including spaceflight, explained symposium co-chairman Hannah Carey, PhD, from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. “Harnessing naturally evolved torpor to benefit human spaceflight.” “Synthetic torpor could protect astronauts from space-related health hazards and simultaneously reduce demands on spacecraft mass, volume and power capabilities,” said Matthew Regan, PhD, also from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine and symposium co-chair. [1

9659002] The symposium will explore how synthetic torpor might be induced by the brain, its similarities and differences to sleep, and how it could benefit astronauts. Speakers will include Carey; Matteo Cerri, MD, PhD, from the University of Bologna in Italy; Vladyslav Vyazovskiy, PhD, from the University of Oxford in the UK; and astronaut Jessica Meir, PhD, from NASA.

Studying hibernation in mammals – how they are able to safely lower their body temperature and metabolism for extended periods of time – may also aid the treatment of people experiencing traumatic medical events such axis stroke, cardiac arrest and severe blood loss. Animals that use torpor have a natural resistance to various injuries that can happen due to lack of blood flow. De er også resistente for strålingsskader – sådan modstand ville være særlig gavnlig for mennesker i dyb rum. Carey will discuss why use of synthetic torpor based on the biology of natural hibernators is preferable to current medical practices that use hypothermia-based methods to treat trauma patients. She will also discuss how hibernation research can identify how to create synthetic torpor for space travel.

How the nervous system reduces metabolic activity during torpor is unknown. Men, mange af de organer som regulerer metabolisme, er kontrollert av nerveceller (neuroner) som ligger i raphe pallidus, et område af hjernestammen som styrer produksjonen av varme i mammaler. “For an animal to enter, the neurons within the raphe pallidus have to be inhibited,” Cerri explained. If the function in these cells is not suppressed, “their activity would counteract the hypothermia induced by torpor,” he said. Cerri will present preliminary results identifying neurons projecting to the raphe pallidus and involved in torpor-related activity.

Defining the relationship tussen slaap en torpor is gebleken met controversie, maar de twee staten lijken te zijn nauw verbonden omdat de neuronale verbindingen ze delen. Research suggests that lack of available food sources may cause mammals to conserve energy and lower their body temperature, two hallmark characteristics of torpor. Men, “mindre er kjent om de specifikke fasthedsrelaterede signaler som initierer adgang til torpor,” Vyazovskiy sa. Han vil diskutere forbindelsen mellem søvn og torpor og hvorfor mer forskning er nødvendig for å bestemme hvordan toms påvirker hjernens funksjon i dyr. [19659002] Sommige van de fysiologische aanpassingen die dieren vertonen – zoals de lage-zuurstofomgevingen die zeeals en penguins ervaren met diepe duiken of dat vogels ervaring op een hoge-altitude vlucht – zijn onmogelijk voor mensen. Understanding how animals adapt in extreme conditions may play a positive role in human medical science, especially in the “extreme environment of space,” Meir said. The increasingly real possibility of traveling to Mars – once just a science fiction story – emphasizes the need to resolve factors that have hampered the feasibility of long-duration spaceflight, including having an ample supply of food, water and breathable air. Finding a way to induce torpor in humans could help eliminate limiting factors as well as protect astronauts from harmful radiation. Meir’s talk will provide insight from her unique perspective and experience as an astronaut, discussing the architecture of NASA’s current and future human spaceflight missions.

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