Hibernation artificially triggered in potential space travel breakthrough | The Guardian

… scientists showed that hibernation can be artificially triggered in rodents using ultrasonic pulses.

The advance is seen as significant because the technique was effective in rats – animals that do not naturally hibernate. This raises the prospect that humans may also retain a vestigial hibernation circuit in the brain that could be artificially reactivated.

“If this proves feasible in humans, we could envision astronauts wearing a helmet-like device designed to target the hypothalamus region for inducing a hypothermia and hypometabolism state,” said Hong Chen, an associate professor at Washington University in St Louis, who led the work.