Human powers of hibernation may be dormant in genetic code

Bears do it. So do groundhogs, squirrels, turtles and many other animals. Humans, however, can’t hibernate — at least not right now.

But scientists exploring the genetic underpinnings of hibernation in animals think they may be able to unlock the same biological superpower in humans. That feat could transform medical care during both routine surgeries and dire medical emergencies when patients cannot immediately get access to lifesaving treatment. It could also make it possible for astronauts to snooze their way on long missions to Mars and other destinations in deep space.

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