A News-Gazette article hints at some of the research attempting to unravel the peculiarities of bear biochemistry. "They're amazing animals with many possibilities for research that could benefit humans. Bears are the only animals that can go without food and grow. I think they'll have an answer to the aging process." The focus here is on osteoporosis - age-related bone loss - as "sufferers could benefit from a characteristic of ursine chemistry ... that inhibits dissolving of fibroblasts which build bones." Aging and related processes in the body are far from uniform across the animal kingdom - there are even animals that age too slowly for researchers to make a good estimate of life span.