In this video excerpt from NOVA scienceNOW: “Can We Live Forever?” learn how research on animal hibernation may lead to the successful development of drug therapies for humans. Scientist Matt Andrews studies hibernating ground squirrels—who can survive frigid temperatures for months—in an effort to better understand how hibernation impacts genes. Andrews discovers that several genes get turned on in some cells only during hibernation and reduce the squirrels’ need for oxygen. It is possible that the development of drug therapies mimicking the hibernation experience may be able to help humans survive traumatic injuries like a heart attack or stroke.
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