Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hibernation for Humans

Maybe, this is old news, but I was reading a column on groundhogs day today and it was talking about how Groundhogs day is really a lot more about hibernation then it is about seeing a shadow.

The article discusses how hibernation is a lot more like being dead then sleeping, and than it takes the turn...and begins to discuss how hibernation is something that science is trying to tailor so that humans would have the ability to hibernate.

Here's some of that text from the msn article.
Wouldn't it be great if humans could hibernate? They might ...

In fact, NASA is looking into it. Hibernation might be a
way to send a crew of astronauts to another solar system--a journey that could
take centuries.

Doctors are also interested. They'd like to be able
to hibernate a single organ. It would be a way to preserve a heart or a kidney
for transplantation.

The United States Army is the most interested
of all. No, they're not looking for a weapon that could put the enemy out for
the winter. Rather, they think hibernation might be useful for transporting
wounded soldiers from battlefields to hospitals.

And that day might
be close. Thanks to army-funded research, scientists at the University of
Minnesota have identified the hibernation gene. What this gene does is produce
an enzyme, and what this enzyme does is switch the body over from burning
carbohydrates to burning fat. Long-term human hibernation, the kind we'd need
for space travel, is still a long way off, according to Dr. Matthew Andrews, a
leader in hibernation research. But the technology for short-term human
hibernation? Coming soon.

I don't think I want anyone to hibernate me!?!


Sher said...

Eewww...hibernation sounds kinda scary when you put it that way! I want to avoid that at all costs.

What I think we need to implement? Siestas! I am always in need of a good afternoon nap!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I have been unintentionally "hibernating" for over 2 years now. I never know when it will start or end...usually I feel extraordinarily tired/exhausted the day before....and then I wake up 2-4 weeks later. Sometimes I will wake up for about 4 hours every few days to use the bathroom and rest, and then I go back to sleep (or into hibernation) again. Suddenly one day I will wake up and everything is as normal again. My doctor does not understand why this is happening to me, and I am trying to find out as much about it and any studies on it as I can. I am unable to work, due to another illness, which would now allow me to work - if I could be sure I would be able to be awake to work. I would appreciate any more postings on this topic. I do not like waking up and feeling as though I have just missed half of my life - literally. Thank you.