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Hibernation

The Importance Of Understanding Hibernation

Scientists are interested in discovering the mechanisms which control hibernation and arousal, and the means by which animals survive such critically low metabolic activity. Many researchers hope to discover ways of placing human beings into a state of hibernation, thus allowing them to survive medical operations which cut off much of the supply of blood to the brain, or even to embark on long space voyages. Other researchers look at the changes in brain chemistry of hibernators as a way of understanding obesity in humans, or as a way to unravel the mysteries of sleep and the functioning of the human brain.


Resources

Books

Stidworthy, John. Hibernation. New York: Gloucester Press, 1991.

Periodicals

Kenzie, Aline. "Seeking the Mechanisms of Hibernation." Bio-Science 40 (June 1990).


David E. Fontes

KEY TERMS

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Torpor

—A state of dormancy or inactivity.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Heterodyne to Hydrazoic acidHibernation - Preparing For Hibernation, Entering Hibernation, Arousal, The Importance Of Understanding Hibernation