Large hibernators such as bears however have evolved to adapt to and reverse similar metabolic stressors they face each year before and during hibernation to essentially become immune to these ill effects.
New RNA sequencing-based genetic research conducted at Washington State University's Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center shows grizzlies express a larger number of genes in preparation for, and during hibernation to cope with such stressors, than do any other species studied.
Switching - Sample - Sizes - Hibernation - Studies
The king-of-the-gene switching superlative even holds true when one corrects for the different sample sizes used in other hibernation studies.
The work was conducted in Pullman, Washington, home of the only university-based captive grizzly bear population in the world. It was published Sept. 13, in Communications Biology, a Springer Nature publication. The WSU scientists biopsied muscle, liver, and fat tissues for the study.
Centuries - People - Species - Science - Fiction
For centuries, people have been fascinated with various species known to hibernate. Science fiction writers describe fantastic space journeys and hibernation states employed with humans. Medically-induced comas in humans get them past extraordinary traumatic or disease states, organs are cooled for storage and transport, and scientists continue to wonder if hibernation could be induced as a therapeutic tool. A wide variety of species have been studied, including those that 'hibernate' in the warmer months and ones that hibernate in winter and whose body temperature can sometimes drop to near freezing. But not bears. Bears appear to be more like humans.
Unlike what some assume is a sleep equivalent, hibernation is a very specialized metabolic state that varies by species and the environment where they hibernate. The mechanism for hibernation in all species studied is controlled by their gene expression.
Bears - Hibernators - Cycles - Differ - Type
"Bears and other hibernators have sleep and wake cycles, but these differ in both the type of sleep and the frequency with which they occur," said Professor Heiko Jansen, lead author...
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