Mining the Biochemistry of Hibernation

CBC News looks at the search for new tools for medicine in the biochemistry of hibernators. Researchers have been looking at bear biochemistry for some time now, but many other species are worthy of investigation: "hibernators' amazing ability to manipulate their own metabolisms could lead to breakthroughs in improving organ transplant and in fighting such illnesses as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even Alzheimer's, research shows. ... Remember, our physiology, and even our genetic makeup, isn't that different, in terms of basic bodily functions, from these hibernating mammals ... The blueprint, the genes to do these things are there - we're just not activating the same physiological pathways. ... As the time mammals spend in torpor increases, vital cell connections begin to weaken within their brains. However, most hibernating mammals actually rouse themselves in their burrows every so often, and this appears to help these neural connections reestablish themselves ... In essence, hibernating mammals experience real brain damage, 'but then they reverse themselves.'"

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/cp/HealthScout/070202/6020219AU.html

Comments

in english please

Posted by: Daphne at October 12th, 2011 3:52 PM

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