Thursday, October 11, 2012

Can people hibernate?

The answer appears to be maybe.  There are reports of people surviving in a state similar to hibernation, but how this happened isn't clear.

How do bears hibernate?  A possible answer is a substance called "HIT" ( Hibernation Induction Trigger).  It is found in hibernating bears.  Squirrels are known to hibernate, and that substance is also found in squirrels.  A squirrel can be induced into hibernation if it is injected with the substance.

If humans could hibernate, it could open new possibilities in medicine and in space travel.

Naturally, I am interested in the space travel part.

This is a wild speculation, but I wonder if humans could be genetically modified into a "man-bear" which could hibernate for months just as bears do.  There may be ethical concerns about this, though.


Somewhat of an unrelated topic, the idea of pyrolysis of human waste has occurred to me before.  Not necessarily for space travel, though.

If everything can be recycled, the amount of mass needed to be taken on a long journey into space can be minimized.  As always, mass must be minimized if we are to keep the spacecraft's dimensions limited to a reasonable size.

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